Skip to main content

Full text of "On the formation of English words by means of Ablaut; a grammatical essay"

See other formats

Warnke,  Karl 

On  the  formation  of 
English  words 







MAX    N  I  E  M  E  Y  E  R. 







I  87S. 


In  all  Teutonic  languages  we  are  able  to  distinguish 
two  principles  ruling  over  the  whole  of  what  English  gram- 
marians call  Etymology.  In  the  decjension  as  well  as  in 
the  formation  of  words  two  manners  of  proceeding  are  at 
work:  either  new  elements  are  added  to  the  original  and 
simple  form  of  the  word,  without  that  form  itself  undergoing 
any  material  alteration,  or  the  word  is  modified  in  one  of 
its  essential  parts,  viz.  in  the  vowel  which  combined  with 
consonants  constitutes  its  stem.  As  to  the  former  method, 
the  elements  affixed  to  the  root  have  often  lost  their  original 
form,  and  frequently  they  have  even  dwindled  down  to 
only  one  letter;  but  the  greater  the  progress  is,  made 
by  comparative  philology,  the  more  it  appears  that  those 
syllables  and  letters  which,  apparently  without  any  meaning 
themselves,  have  served  to  call  into  existence  new  words 
and  new  forms,  were  once  possessed  of  a  distinct  and  clear 
signification.  The  only  difference  existing  between  them 
and  those  prefixes  and  suffixes  whose  'forms  have  not  been 
curtailed,  and  whose  meaning  is  still  discernible,  is  that  they 
date  from  a  period  much  more  remote  than  the  latter,  and 
that,  like  chemical  compounds,  they  have  been  intimately 
blended  with  a  stem,  whilst  the  others  like  mechanic  com- 
pounds, have  preserved  both  their  form  and  their  meaning. 
Thus  to  give  only  one  instance,  the  consonant  suffix  k  as  we 
have  it  in  hawk,  bullock  &c.,  is  of  pronominal  origin  (AS.  ic 

*)  See  R.  Morris,  Historical  Outlines  of  English  Accidence,  Lon- 
don 1875,  p.  213  (Note  2). 


Quite  as  frequently,  however,  new  words  have  been 
formed  by  means  of  vowel-change.  Two  sorts  of  vowel- 
change  may  be  distinguished  in  English  words:  the  one  is 
due  to  exterior  influence;  the  other  is  based  on  a  funda- 
mental law  valid  in  all  Teutonic  dialects. 

It  is  well  known  that  certain  vowels  whose  pronunciation 
did  not  differ  much,  very  often  took  each  other's  place  in 
the  early  written  language.  When  language  got  more  fixed 
and  settled,  when  more  ideas  arose,  and  consequently  more 
words  were  needed,  no  better  expedient  offered  than  to 
assign  a  particular  domain  to  either  of  these  forms.  Thus 
are  to  be  considered:  bathe  beath,  bless  bliss,  clam  clem,  desk 
disk,  meddle  middle,  neb  nib,  quid  cud,  rudder  rother  (in 
rothernails),  stud  stot,  than  then,  thrash  thresh,  truth  troth. 

The  same  is  the  case  in  a  number  of  French  words, 
where  the  right  vowel,  not  caught  by  the  ear  of  the  common 
people,  was  introduced  by  writing:  cafe  coffee,  chant  chaunt, 
cleff  cliff,  cull  coil,  molasses  melasses ,  ostrich  estrich ,  pair 
peer,  poult  pullet,  rosin  resin,  tamper  temper.  Very  often  the 
vowel  has  lost  its  original  sound  by  the  influence  of  certain 
subsequent  consonants.  Before  the  liquid  consonants  m  and 
n,  the  vowels  a  and  o  were  indiscriminately  used  in  AS.; 
so  we  have  in  modern  English  the  double  forms:  can 
con,  hale  whole,  ramp  romp;  similarly,  deal  dole,  mean 
moan,  load  lade.  --  Especially  easy  is  a  change  of  vowel 
before  the  guttural  r,  by  which  the  clear  sound  of  a  prece- 
ding vowel  is  invariably  modified  so  that  often  it  may  quite 
as  well  be  represented  by  one  vowel  as  by  another.  In 
the  written  documents  of  English  provincial  dialects  we  in 
fact  sometimes  meet  with  almost  all  vowels  before  r  in  the 
same  word:  f.  i.  vargin,  vergin,  virgin,  vorgin,  vurgin.  This 
proceeding  has  enriched  the  vocabulary  of  the  English  tongue 
with  a  number  of  words;  f.  i.  birth  berth  barth,  carl  churl, 
charm  churm,  churn  quern,  dear  darling  dilling ,  dark  dirk, 
farther  further,  girth  garth,  mirk  murky,  orchil  archil,  perilous 
parlous,  shark  sherk  shirk,  whirl  whorl. 

No  change  of  vowel  properly  speaking  is  to  be  stated 
in  a  number  of  words  in  which  the  different  vowel  is  caused 

by  the  one  word  having  been  taken  from  a  different  language. 
Due  to  French  influence  are:  cave,  cape,  rank  existing  by 
the  side  of  cove,  cope,  ring.  From  a  Northern  source  have 
been  derived:  bark,  frisk,  rindle  occurring  by  the  side  of 
birch,  fresh,  run.  Brisk  is  a  Celtic  word,  brush  is  =  Fr.  brus- 
que. Directly  from  the  Latin  as  a  mot  savant  has  been 
taken  probe,  the  popular  form  of  which  is  proof  (prove). 
In  all  these  instances  the  vowel -change  is  accidental:  the 
second  form  is  the  same  as  the  first ,  only  with  a  slightly 
modified  pronunciation. 

It  is  different  in  a  number  of  cases  where  we  meet  with 
a  regular  transition  from  I  to  a  and  u.  This  regular  transition/ 
is,  also  by  English  grammarians ,  called  Ablaut.  Its  origin 
dates  from  a  prehistorical  jjgriod,  and  the  words  formed  by 
it  Bear  a  much  more  primitive  character  than  those  produced 
by  composition  -  -  an  opinion  which  seems  to  be  illustrated 
and  corroborated  by  the  fact  that  all  Teutonic  dialects  in 
course  of  time  have  been  deprived  of  this  faculty,  whilst 
on  the  other  hand,  every  day  new  words  may  be  called  into 
existence  by  means  of  composition.  The  primitive  character 
of  the  Ablaut -formations  will  still  more  distinctly  be  set  off, 
if  we  consider  the  origin  and  the  character  of  the  three 
vowels  which  they  exhibit,  and  if  we  examine  those  words 
themselves  in  an  historical  point  of  view. 

Vowels  are  produced  by  the  tube  which  in  form  of  a 
cavity  is  adjoined  to  the  head  of  the  windpipe,  being  either 
lengthened  or  shortened,  and  by  the  tongue  and  lips  taking 
different  forms.  The  vocal  tube  is  shortest  when  we  utter 
the  sound  i,  the  head  of  the  windpipe  having  its  highest 
stand;  it  is  longest  when  we  bring  forth  the  sound  u,  the 
head  of  the  windpipe  having  then  gone  as  far  down  as 
possible;  it  has  a  middle  position  with  regard  to  a,  in  which 
case  the  tube  is  longer  than  with  i  and  shorter  than  with 
u.  On  the  other  side,  when  pronouncing  i,  the  tongue  takes 
a  concave  form,  and  the  lips  get  rounded ;  when  uttering  «, 
the  tongue  has  its  natural  position,  and  the  lips  are  simply 
opened.  Thus  the  different  shape  of  the  vocal  tube  as  well 
as  the  different  position  of  the  tongue  and  lips,  show  that 


i  or  u  form  the  keynotes  of  the  vocal  gamut,  the  exact 
middle  of  which  is  taken  by  a.  Between  either  i  and  «, 
or  a  and  u,  there  is  an  infinite  series  of  various  vowels, 
none  of  which,  however,  exceeds  either  i  or  u,  and  none  of 
which  is  produced  with  the  whole  vocal  apparatus  being-  in 
a  more  regular  position  than  it  is  when  bringing  forth  a. 
The  three  vowels  «,  «,  and  ^«,  therefore,  may  justly  be  called 
the  fundamental  pillars  on  which  the  whole  system  of  vocali- 
sation has  been  constructed.  From  the  remarks  just  made 
it  also  appears  of  what  particular  sound  eacli  of  the  three 
vowels  is  possessed.  The  shorter  the  vocal  tube  is,  and  the 
broader  the  opening  made  by  the  lips,  the  clearer  and  finer 
is  the  sound  produced ;  and  the  more  the  tube  is  lengthened, 
and  the  more  the  lips  are  rounded,  the  more  the  sound 
becomes  dull  and  hollow.  Thus  •/  represents  a  clear  and 
even  a  shrill  sound,  a  is  loud  and  strong,  u  is  loud  and 
^  hollow.  Compared  with  either  a  or  u,  i,  being  not  possessed 
of  the  same  force  as  those  two,  sounds  rather  soft  and  low. 

The  category  of  words,  therefore,  in  which,  already  a 
priori,  we  may  expect  to  meet  with  Ablaut,  are  those 
expressive  of  sound,  which,  only  from  the  occurrence  of 
Ablaut,  may  be  supposed  to  belong  to  the  oldest  elements 
of  language.  That,  in  fact,  they  are  so,  is  proved  by  the 
history  of  language. 

According  to  the  most  generally  adopted  opinion,  onoma- 
topoeia was  the  principle  which  first  led  man  to  the  use 
of  language,  and  it  was  only  in  process  of  time  that  this 
principle  was  amplified  and  transferred  from  the  imitation 
of  sound  to  the  representation  of  all  other  things  that  struck 
the  senses.  Max  M tiller  *),  differing  from  this  theory,  thinks 
that,  as'  bodies  like  glass  and  bells  are  possessed  of  a 
particular  sound,  the  faculty  of  thinking  necessitated  the 
organs  of  speech  to  perform  adequate  vibrations  in  order 
to  produce  sounds  and  words.  But  he,  too,  is  under  the 
necessity  of  owning  that  a  number  of  words  in  all  languages 

*)  Lectures  on  the  Science  of  Language.  London  1864.  p.  372  seqq., 
p.  402. 

are  formed  in  an  onomatopoetic  way.  As  men  acquire  a 
great  part  of  their  ideas  by  the  impression  which  the  objects 
surrounding  them  make  on  their  senses,  so  it  is  in  fact  of 
language.  Nature,  proving  its  very  life  by  perpetual  move- 
ment and  noise,  presents  a  rich  variety  as  to  the  eye  so 
to  the  ear  of  the  contemplative  looker-on.  Thus  the  words, 
generally  called  sounds,  took  their  origin  —  words  which 
compose  a  great  part  of  the  vocabulary  of  all  nations,  and 
which  for  the  English  language  have  been  carefully  compiled 
by  Koch  in  an  Essay,  bearing  the  title  Linguistische  Allotria, 
and  published  after  the  author's  death  by  Dr.  Wilhelm 
(Eisenach  1875).  The  sounds  once  brought  into  existence, 
it  was  not  difficult  to  take  another  step  in  the  formation  of 
new  words.  Soon  the  sharp  ear  of  man  perceived  that  very 
often  several  sounds  succeed  each  other,  which  either  represent 
a  mere  repetition,  or  give  the  same  sound  in  different  shades. 
In  the  former  case  the  simplest  manner  of  proceeding  would 
have  been  twice  to  repeat  the  same  word;  and  although 
there  are  instances  of  that  having  been  indeed  the  case,  as 
bee -bee,  paw -paw,  yet  in  general  the  English  language, 
avoiding  such  monotonous  and  poor -looking  formations, 
preferred  to  give  them  more  variety  by  a  change  of  the  initial 
consonant  of  the  second  word,  f.  i.  borv-rvorv,  boo-hoo, 
fol-lol,  hirdum  dirdum,  hubbub,  rvhurlie-birlie  &c.  In  all  these 
instances  the  radical  vowel  has  been  preserved  (in  rvhurlie- 
birlie  there  is  only  an  irregular  and  arbitrary  spelling)  for 
the  simple  reason  that  the  sound  originally  expressed  by 
these  words  has  not  undergone  any  alteration.  In  a  number 
of  cases,  however,  the  second  sound  was,  although  bearing 
the  same  general  character  as  the  first,  yet  perceived  to  be 
as  distinct  from  it,  as  the  echo  is  distinct  from  tHe  sound 
which  effects  it.  In  order  to  represent  this  difference,  no 
easier  and  more  appropriate  expedient  offered  itself,  than 
to  repeat  the  stem  not  with  any  alterations  affecting  the 
first  consonant,  but  with  a  simple  and  regular  change  of  the 
vowel,  i.  e.  with  Ablaut. 

As  we  have  in  German  formations,  exhibiting  all  three 
vowels,  f.  i.  piff  paff  puff,  bim  bam  bum,  so  we  meet  also  in 

English  with  combinations,  like  cling  clang  clung,  fee  faw  fum, 
knick  knack  knock,  rim  ram  ruff'.  1  am '  at  a  loss  to  discover 
the  meaning  of  the  third  form  in  such  expressions,  if  it  be 
not  that  the  ear  felt  better  pleased  with,  or  found  greater 
completeness  in,  three  sounds.  For  beside  expressions  like 
those  just  mentioned,  we  have  instances  where  the  English 
language,  although  not  choosing  to  affix  a  third  modification 
with  u,  yet  for  the  sake  of  completeness  added  a  third 
word  with  a  vowel  different  from  the  first  two.  Thus  we 
read  in  Shakespeare  (Tempest  I,  i):  ding  dong  bell.  Other 
examples  are  to  be  met  with  in  Halliwell's  interesting  book: 
The  Nursery  Rhymes  of  England  (2nd  Ed.  London,  1843} : 

p.     16.     See  saw  sack  a  day. 
p.     82.     Little  John  Jiggy  Jag. 

p.     94.     John  Cook  had  a  little  gray  mare, 

He  haw  hum, 

Her  back  stood  up,  and  her  bones  they  were  bare, 
He  haw  hum. 

p.  109.     Ding  dong  darrow 

The  cat  and  the  sparrow. 

p.  125.     Sing  danty  baby  ditty.' 
p.  141.     Tick  tack  too. 

Generally,  however,  two  of  these  forms  were  thought 
sufficient  to  express  the  same  idea  as  is  conveyed  by  three. 
So  we  hear  in  German  piff  paff,  piff  puff,  bim  bam,  bim  bum 
quite  as  often  as  the  forms  with  the  three  vowels;  and  the 
number  of  English  words  with  only  two  vowels  by  far 
surpasses  the  quantity  of  those  exhibiting  three.  A  number 
of  these  double -formations  are  to  be  found  in  the  scientific 
grammars  of  the  English  tongue  *) ;  the  completest  list  has 
been  given  by  Koch  in  the  above-mentioned  Essay.  Koch 
has,  however,  omitted  to  give  the  particular  development  of 

*)  Fiedler;  Wissenschaftliche  Grainmatik  der  Engl.  Sprache  I, 
Zerbst,  1848,  p.  200.  —  E.  Matzner,  Grammatik  der  Engl.  Sprache. 
Berlin  1873,  2^1  Ed.,  I,  p.  474. 

each  of  these  forms.  When  looking  for  the  words,  contained 
in  this  list,  in  the  dictionaries,  we  are  struck  by  the  absence 
of  a  great  number  of  them;  and  it  is  not  difficult  to  find 
the  reason  why  the  lexicographers  did  not  admit  them. 

There  is  an  unmistakable  tendency  inherent  to  the 
English  language  to  avoid  and  give  up  all  cumbrous  and 
clumsy  formations:  the  whole  of  English  accidence,  f.  i., 
bears  a  character  more  symmetric  and  simple  that  that  of 
most  other  European  languages.  The  same  notable  feature 
may  be  discovered  in  the  formation  of  words.  Disdaining 
the  somewhat  homely  double -formations  of  which  we  are 
treating,  the  language  was  soon  contented  to  employ  only 
one  part  of  them  for  the  representation  of  an  idea  which 
had  at  first,  more  exactly,  though  less  elegantly,  been  rendered 
by  the  two  or  three  words  put  by  the  side  of  each  other. 
The  places  where  we  may  be  most  sure  still  to  meet  with 
such  formations  are  those  in  which  language  has  not  deve- 
loped itself  with  the  game  rapidity  as  in  the  centres  of 
intellectual  activity;  the  people  whose  vocabulary  is  richest 
in  such  formations  are  those  in  whom  the  influence  of  civili- 
sation has  not  yet  stifled  primitive  feelings  and  primitive 
expressions.  Such  words,  therefore,  are  most  frequent  in  the 
provinces,  in  the  unlettered  ranks  of  society,  and  in  the 
nurseries,  where  the  child  unconsciously  performs  the  same 
task  as  a  nation  in  the  earliest  stages  of  its  development. 

These  remarks,  however,  only  bear  upon  the  double- 
forms;    those   imitative  words,   on  the   contrary,   which,"  in 
separate  forms,,  present  the  three  or  two  vowels,   are  as 
many  fresh  and  healthy  leaves  on  the  fair,  broad -branched  * 
tree  of  the  English  language. 

Turning  to  those  words  themselves,  we  may  divide 
them  into  four  categories  according  to  the  four  different  sorts 
of  Ablaut: 

I.  i  a  u7 
II.  i  a, 

III.  i  u, 

IV.  a  u. 


Of  these  sounds  u  requires  to  be  considered  apart.  .AS. 
u  has  preserved  its  old  German  pronunciation  only  when  //, 
/-f-cons.,  or  sh  are  following:  f.  i.  full,  bull;  bulrush,  pulpit; 
bush,  cushion;  generally  it  has  adopted  the  sound  which 


lies  between  u  and  o,  and  which  Walker  represents  by  u. 
On  the  other  side  also  o  has  taken  a  part  of  the  functions 
of  u}  as  it  was  indeed  for  a  long  period  to  be  found  by  its 
side.  Therefore  we  need  not  be  surprised  to  see  6  as  well 


as  U,  the  domains  of  which  were  daily  extending,  as  substi- 
tutes for  u  whose  use  was  compassed  within  the  most 
narrow  limits.  Thus  the  three  categories  exhibiting  w,  have, 
each  of  them,  two  subdivisions,  the  one  with  0,  the  other 


with  u. 

To  the  fourth  class  belong  two  words  in  which  we 
have  u,  written  ew,  and  which  are  also  displaying  a 
different  pronunciation  of  a,  viz.  a,  written  aw.  These  words 
are:  terv-tarv,  an  archaistic  expression,  to  break  hemp,  and 
gerv-garv  a  showy  trifle  (influenced  by  Fr.  joujou?) 

Koch,  whose  arrangement  differs  from  ours,  sets  up  two 
more  categories,  the  types  for  which  are  e  —  a,  and  i  —  e. 
But  as  e  does  not  occur  in  the  regular  Ablaut  i  a  u,  the 
words,  given  by  Koch,  cannot  claim  a  place  among  our 
words.  Besides,  none  of  them  occurs  in  the  written  language; 
see-saw,  which  is  the  last  of  the  list,  and  which  seems  to  be 
connected  with  s#w>  =  serra,  as  the  movement  expressed  by 
see:saw  is  similar  to  that  of  a  saw  at  work  is  to  be  com- 
pared with  tee-totum,  tee-totaller,  didapper,  and  on  the  other 
,side  with  formations  like  fee- fa w.  -  -  It  is  different  in  the 
last  of  Koch's  categories,  which  contains  only  one  word: 
stip  step.  This  word  is  given  by  Wheatly  in  his  Dictionary 
of  Reduplicated  Words  (London  1866);  and  in  fact  e  and  i 
often  taking  each  other's  place  (cp.  p.  2)  we  have  to  con- 
sider stip  step  as  a  reduplicated  form  rather  than  constitute 
for  it  a  new  class  of  Ablaut. 

Thus  we  see,  in  the  imitative  words  there  is  hardly 
any  anomaly  to  be  met  with  in  the  employment  of  what 
is  called  Ablaut,  i.  e.  the  regular  transition  of  i  to  a  and  u. 

Only  twice  in  the  long  list  of  words  belonging  to  this  cate- 
gory (in  tew -taw  and  gew-gaw)  do  we  meet  with  a  long 
vowel,  never  do  we  find  a  diphthong,  both  of  which,  as  is 
well  known,  did  not  exist  in  the  first  period  of  language, 
but  were  called  into  existence  by  composition  of  the  short 
vowels  either  with  themselves  or  with  one  another.  Nor 
does  the  preceding  or  the  following  consonant  bear  a  cha- 
racter that  might  engage  us  to  think  the  change  of  vowel  in- 
fluenced by  it. 

It  is  different  in  another  class  of  Ablaut.  For  not  only 
in  imitative  words  do  we  meet  with  a  regular  change  of 
vowel,  but  a  similar  change  may  also  be  noted  in  the  verb. 
Heyne1)  even  defines  the  origin  and  character  of  Ablaut 
in  the  following  manner:  ( Ablaut  has  its  origin  and  its  basis 
in  the  verb.  By  regular  vowel-change  in  the  root  -  syllable 
a  difference  is  effected  between  the  Present  and  the  Past 
tenses  of  the  verb,  and  this  regular  vowel -change  is  called 
Ablaut.'  In  this  definition  Heyne  follows  Grimm  who  on 
different  occasions  states  that  the  Ablaut  in  the  Teutonic 
dialects  originated  in  the  verb.  A  look  into  the  origin  of 
these  forms,  such  as  it  has  been  established  by  comparative 
philology  will,  however,  convince  us  that  we  have  not  to 
consider  the  Past  Tenses  of  strong  verbs  as  genuine  Ablaut- 

iu    -J/I<MJ    .  j»;r:t    /-iinov/    ': 

In  the  Aryan  languages  all  strong  verbs  -originally  re- 
duplicated their  root  in  order  to  express  the  idea  of  the 
Perfect  Tense.  Distinct  traces  of  this  proceeding  are  dis- 
cernible in  Latin  as  well  as  in  the  oldest  German  dialects. 
As  to  Latin,  it  may  be  sufficient  to  call  to  mind  forms  like 
cecldi,  pependi,  tutudi,  dedi,  di$ici.  Reduplication  has  taken 
a  somewhat  *  modified  shape  in  the  oldest  Teutonic  dialect 
extant;  in  Gothic  only  the  first  consonant  of  the  word  was 
repeated  not  with  the  following  vowel  as  in  pependi,  tutu- 
di, but  always  with  the  same  sound  ai,  f.  i.  faifalp  from 
falpa,  baibland  from  blanda,  faiflok  from  fleka.  A  few  verbs, 

')  Laut-  und  Flexion slehre.    Paderborn  1862,  p.  18. 


in  AS.,  exhibit  the  same  sort  of  reduplication,  the  vowel  in 
the  first  syllable  being  however  e: 

hcetan  —  hehdt  —  heht 

Idcan  —  leldc  —  leolc 

Icetan  —  lelcet  —  leort 

ondrcedan  —  * ondredrced  —  ondreard 

rcedan  —  *rerod  —  reord. 

Although  still  in  the  first  period  of  the  English  language 
this  last  remnant  of  reduplication  disappears,  and  forms 
svith  a  simple  prolonged  vowel  (het,  lee,  let,  ondred,  red) 
are  more  in  use,  yet  those  few  forms  permit  us  to  take 
a  look  into  a  period  ot  the  English  language  of  which  we 
do  not  possess  any  documents,  and  in  which  we  are  entitled 
to  suppose  all  those  verbs  which  in  Gothic  form  the  Perfect 
Tense  by  reduplication,  to  have  followed  the  same  principle. 
Only  the  five  mentioned,  however,  out  of  51,  preserve  the 
double  consonant:  all  the  rest  indicate  the  loss  of  the  second 
consonant  by  lengthening  the  vowel:  f.  i. 

G.  falpa  —  faifalp;  AS.  fealde  —  feold. 
G.  slepa  —  saislep;  AS.  slcepe  —  slep. 
G.  saia  —  saisd;  AS.  stiwe  —  sedrv. 

These  verbs  compose,  according  to  Koch  (Grammatik  p.  238 
seqq.)  the  first  division  of  strong  verbs.  In  the  second 
division  which  in  its  six  classes  comprises  a  far  greater 
number  of  words  than  the  first,  none  of  the  ancient 
dialects  has  forms  which  distinctly  bear  the  marks  of 
original  reduplication.  But  also  here  do  we  meet  with 
reduplication  in  the  parent-speech;  and  even  if  we  did  not, 
the  influence,  exercised  by  the  concluding  consonant  on  the 
preceding  vowel,  would  bring  us  to  conclude  that  the  Ablaut 
found  in  the  verb  is  different  from  the  Ablaut  in  imitative 
words.  Moreover,  this  opinion  seems  to  be  confirmed  by  the 
fact  that  the  verbs  belonging  to  Cl.  I,  II  and  VI  of  the 
second  division  of  strong  verbs,  have  the  same  vowel  in 
the  P.  P.  as  in  the  Present  Tense,  just  like  those  of  the 
first  division.  But  as  in  the  other  three  classes  we  find  in 
the  P.  P.  and  sometimes  also  in  the  Plural  of  the  Preterit 
Tense  the  vowels  u  or  0,  it  seems  to  be  probable  that  Ab- 


laut  such  as  it  existed   in  onomatopoetic  words  was  also 
here  of  a  certain  influence. 

After  these  remarks  it  will  be  evident  that  the  above- 
mentioned  opinion  of  Heyne  must  be  modified  and  that  we 
have  to  distinguish  two  different  sorts  of  Ablaut.  That 
vowel-change  which  a  certain  number  of  verbs  undergo, 
and  which  generally  and  emphatically  is  called  Ablaut,  is 
not  the  most  simple  and  original  one.  On  the  contrary, 
primary  Ablaut  is  only  to  be  found  in  onomatopoetic  words, 
and  if,  in  the  declension  of  the  verb,  we  retain  the  denomi- 
nation introduced  by  Grimm,  and  sanctioned  by  the  use 
which  all  grammarians  since  him  have  made  of  it,  we  cannot 
but  insist  upon  discriminating  it  from  the  primary  one, 
compared  with  which  it  can  only  lay  claim  to  a  secondary 
part.  Having  thus  tried  to  establish  the  different  nature  of 
the  two  sorts  of  Ablaut  existing  in  the  English  language, 
we  shall  little  hesitate  as  to  the  order  in  which  we  have 
to  consider  the  words  formed  by  it.  First  we  shall  examine 
the  onomatopoetic  formations,  then  we  shall  turn  to  those 
words  which  have  been  derived  from  strong  verbs. 

It  has  already  been  exposed  that  according  to  their 
origin  a  great  part  of  the  words  belonging  to  the  first 
category,  are  expressive  of  sound,  the  pitch  of  which  is 
indicated  by  the  very  Ablaut.  Seeing  how  convenient  the 
latter  was  to  set  forth  the  different  shades  of  the  same  notion, 
people  soon  transferred  the  use  of  it  to  another  class  ol 
words  which  are  in  a  manner  related  to  those  expressive 
of  sound.  These  are  the  words  which  convey  to  us  the 
idea  of  motion.  A  man,  not  able  to  restrain  the  violent* 
emotions  to  which  he  is  subject,  shouts  and  jumps  at  the 
same  time  whilst  deriving  a  particular  pleasure  from  some- 
thing. On  the  other  side,  people  not  used  to  give  vent  to 
all  their  feelings,  often  cannot  help  expressing  the  afflictions 
under  which  they  labour,  by  gesture  as  well  as  by  lamentation. 
Thus  it  is  to  be  explained  that  the  Latin  verb  plangere 
originally  signifying  to  beat  or  strike,  has  adopted  the 
meaning  of  lamenting  (poetically  even  plangere  alqm  to 
bewail  a  .person).  Nor  is  the  English  language  without 


analogous  instances;  there  exist  not  a  small  number  of 
expressions  which  may  be  used  in  reference  both  to  sound 
and  to  motion.  The]  word  strain,  derived  from  0.  Fr. 
estreindre  L.  stringere,  has  beside  its  original  meaning,  taken 
the  sense  of  melody  and  song.  March,  in  all  European 
languages,  is  first  the  act  of  moving  by  regular  steps  and 
in  a  fixed  order,  then  a  piece  of  music  often  attending  that 
act.  Several  adjectives,  originally  applied  to  different  kinds 
of  motion,  are,  when  joined  to  the  pertinent  substantives, 
generally  understood  as  relating  to  sound;  such  are  piercing, 
splitting,  rending.  Another  proof  of  the  connection,  existing 
between  sound  and  movement,  is  the  phrase:  to  set  one's 
teeth  on  edge,  by  which  the  disagreeable  movement  is 
expressed  which  thrills  through  one's  body  on  hearing  a 
harsh  and  jarring  sound.  When  speaking  of  a  Stentorian 
voice,  few  persons  may  remember  that  the  first  sense  of  Gr. 
(jTSPco  is  to  straiten.  It  is  therefore  not  surprising  that  the 
English  language  following  a  principle  in -the  formation  of 
words  expressive  of  sound,  has  employed  the  same  principle 
in  the  formation  of  words  expressive  of  motion.  As  in  the 
former  class  the  two  or  three  vowels  express  as  many  shades 
in  the  sound,  so  in  the  latter  they  notify  a  change  in  the 
movement :  the  movement  not  continuing  in  the  same  direction, 
becomes  irregular.  If  the  words,  showing  the  different 
vowels,  are  not  compounded,  but  exist  independently  by 
the  side  of  each  other,  the  same  rules  apply  as  in  the  first 
category,  viz.  the  lighter  the  vowel  the  quicker  the  movement, 
the  broader  the  vowel  the  slower  and  heavier  becomes  the 
•movement.  —  Another  step  taken  in  the  development  of 
the  meaning  of  these  words  deserves  to  be  mentionedi 
Motion  and  form  have  a  similar  relation  to  each  other  as 
sound  and  motion.  The  shape  of  an  object  often  is  nothing 
but  the  result  of  a  preceding  movement,  as  seems  sufficiently 
to  bo  proved  by  the  substantives:  a  crease,  a  fold,  a  joint, 
a  plicature,  a  point,  a  bristle  (derived  by  metathesis  from  to 
burst).  These  -  are  A  the  three  ^classes  to  which  the  words 
exhibiting  primitive  Ablaut  belong;  it  will  be  easy  to  place 
each  of  them  in  one  of  these  categories. 


Remembering  what  has  been  stated  about  the  origin  of 
our  words,  I  think  we  shall  not  go  far  astray  when  supposing 
that  at  first  all  imitative  words  were  used  as  interjections. 
An  interjection  is  defined  by  English  grammarians  as  an 
articulate  exclamation;  and  it  matters  not  whether  this 
exclamation  is  a  sudden  outburst  of  subjective  feeling  or 
the  imitation  of  a  sound.  To  the  former  of  these  classes 
belong  all  those  words  and  syllables  by  which  people  are 
in  the  habit  of  expressing  pain  and  joy,  admiration  and 
contempt,  surprise  and  disgust,  doubt  and  protestation,  to  the 
latter  all  those  which  are  called  sounds.  And  as  well  as 
by  the  interjection  baa  is  represented  the  bleating  of  a  sheep, 
or  by  the  interjection  bow-wow  the  barking  of  a  dog,  we 
may  also  suppose  that  formations  like  ding-dong,  by  which 
the  ringing  of  bells  is  expressed,  or  chitchat  which  means 
idle  talk,  have  originally  been  interjections.  But  in  no  other 
point,  perhaps,  the  liberty  which  pervades  the  whole  of  the 
English  language,  has  been  so  much  set  forth  as  here.  For 
almost  all  these  words  have  taken  the  function  of  verbs, 
without  losing  their  character  as  interjections,  and  in  conse- 
quence of  a  proceeding  more  common  and  less  surprising, 
they  are  also  used  as  substantives.  Thus  slip  slap  slop 
continue  still  to  be  interjections,  but  are  at  the  same  time 
quite  as  frequently  to  be  met  with  as  verbs  and  substantives. 
Those  formations,  however,  in  which  twice  the  same  stem, 
only  with  the  vowel  changed,  occurs,  are  generally  not  liked 
as  verbs,  as  indeed  their  form,  not  very  elegant  in  itself, 
would,  if  inflected,  have  become  exceedingly  clumsy;  they 
are  employed  as  substantives,  and  in  some  few  cases  as« 
adjectives  and  adverbs. 

As  to  the  form  of  these  words,  the  early  date  which 
we  assign  to  them,  entitles  us  to  anticipate  that  in  most 
cases  we  have  mere  roots,  i.  e.  most  of  the  words  cannot 
be  reduced  to  a  simpler  or  more  original  form.  Sometimes, 
however,  the  root  is  somewhat  modified  by  the  nasal  conso- 
nant n  having  intruded  after  the  vowel  which  serves  to 
connect  the  consonant  elements  of  the  root.  Matzner 
(Grammatik,  Berlin  1873,  I,  p.  188)  says  that  n  is  to  be 


found  before  a  guttural  and  dental  g  beginning  the  following 
syllable,  as  in  messenger  0.  Fr.  messagier ,  passenger  0.  Fr. 
passagier,  popinjay,  0.  Fr.  popegal  In  the  words,  given  by 
Matzner,  n  is  of  an  inorganic  character,  it  has  been  added 
merely  to  render  the  pronunciation  more  easy;  besides  it 
does  not  occur  in  the  root  -  syllable.  It  is  different  in  a 
certain  number  of  imitative  words.  There,  n  occurs  in  the 
root-syllable;  it  has  its  place  not  only  before  g,  which  is 
generally  indeed  the  last  letter  of  the  word,  but  also  before 
ch  and  #;  it  is  moreover  not  of  an  inorganic  character, 
but  produces  a  distinct  change  in  the  signification  of  the 
word.  For  as  the  short  vowel  in  the  root- word  is  lengthened 
by  the  added  n,  so  the  sound  or  movement  represented  by 
the  word,  gets  more  protracted.  —  The  same  remarks  apply 
to  w,  which,  however,  according  to  its  nature,  has  not  been 
put  before  gutturals,  but  before  the  labials  b  and  p. 

Besides,  to  no  small  a  number  of  words  belonging  to 
this  category,  are  added  the  suffixes  le  or  er.  Both  /  and  r 
being  what  is  called  trills,  and  no  great  difference  existing 
in  the  use  made  of  them,  they  may  conveniently  be  consi- 
dered together.  Firstly,  both  of  them  are  possessed  of  the 
faculty  of  imparting  a  frequentative  meaning  to  the  word 
in  question;  and  as  things  which  often  follow  each  other, 
or  are  put  together  in  a  great  number,  are  generally  not 
very  extensive,  it  is  easily  to  be  conceived  that  the  endings 
le  and  er  also  have  a  diminutive  power,  with  which  idea  that 
of  depreciation  is  narrowly  connected.  The  same  diminutive 
and  depreciative  sense  is  inherent  to  the  suffix  ?/,  which  is 
to  be  found  in  some  of  our  words,  f.  i.  in  dilly-dally.  As 
for  the  use  of  either  er  or  le,  no  distinct  rules  seem  to  have 
been  observed,  both  having  the  same  force,  they  were  in- 
discriminately used,  until  time  gave  each  of  them  its  particular 
domain.  It  may,  however,  be  stated  that  the  root  containing 
/  er  was  preferred,  as  in  clitter  clatter  clutter,  flitter  flutter, 
and  on  the  other  hand,  when  r  already  was  in  the  root,  le 
was  chosen  for  the  suffix,  f.  i.  crinkle  crankle,  rlmple  rample, 
trimple  trample,  prittle  prattle  &c. 

In  the  following  pages  1  shall  give  a  list  of  the  words 


formed  by  primary  Ablaut  as  far  as  they  occur  in  tbe  written 
language  of  the  day,  and  as  completely  as  I  have  been 
able  to  compile  them.  According  to 'the  four  different  sorts 
of  Ablaut,  I  shall  divide  them  into  four  categories,  in  each 
of  which  I  shall  first  give  the  simple  and  nasalized  roots, 
and  then  the  derivations  with  ley  er,  and  y. 

A.  i  a  o  (u). 

I.   i  a  o. 

1.  Pure  Boots. 

.  MOW  A 

1.  Chip,  Chap.  Chop.     These  words  originally  represent 
the  noise  of  an  object  breaking  or  cracking.    A  sharp  sound 
being  produced  by  a  small  fragment  being  separated  from 
a  hard  body,   to  chip  is  to  detach  or  cut  off  a  small  piece. 
—  The  vowel  a  representing  a  loud  and  clear  sound,  to 
chap  is  to   cleave  or  split.   —  o  expressing  a  hollow  and 
resounding  noise,  to  chop  is  to  sever  by  loud  strokes  which 
more  or  less  rapidly  succeed  one  another,  f.i.  to  chop  meat, 
to  chop  off  trees. 

2.  Flip.  Flap.  Flop,     to  flip  to  give  a  blow  with  some- 
thing thin   and   flexible.     To  this  word  belong  flippant,   an 
isolated  hybrid   formation   (cp.  blatant),    moving  quick  and 

ightly,  lively,  forward,  and  fillip  a  rap  on  the  nose.  —  to 
flap  to  strike  with  something  broad  and  loose,  or  to  move 
such  things,  f.  i.  wings.  —  to  flop.  The  sound  of  the  blow 
is  of  a  more  hollow  description. 

3.  Jig.  Jag.  Jog.  The  original  signification  of  a  particu- 
lar kind  of  sound,  which  is  still  discernible  in  the  deriva- 
tives jiggle,  giggle,  gaggle,  has  been  supplanted  by  that  of 
a  broken  jolting   movement;  and  as  the  latter  is  produced 
by  a  rugged  surface,  jig  has  also  adopted  the  meaning  of 
irregular  form   or   shape.   —   to  jog  to    move   heavily  and 


slowly,  to  be  tossed  and  shaken  when  moving  thus.  —  jig- 
jog,  or  jick-a-jog,  that  sort  of  jerking  movement  which  is 
experienced  by  people  driving  on  an  uneven  and  rugged 
road,  --to  jag  to  make  notches  in  something. 

4.  Knick.  Knack.  Knock,     to  knick  to  cause  a  noise  as 
of  something  small  breaking.  -  -  to  knack  represents  a  louder 
noise  as  is  produced  f.  i.  by  a  snap  with  the  fingers:  hence, 
to  have   a   knack  at  something,  to  be  skilled  and  dextrous 
in  something  that  it  may  as  easily  be  performed  as  a  snap 
with   the  fingers. *)   —   to  knock  to  strike  or  dash  together ; 
the  word  represents  a  loud  and  hollow  sound,   such  as  is 
caused  by  the  iron  knocker  at  the  doors  of  English  houses. 
—  knick-knack,  generally  used  in  PL,  and  also  written  nick- 
nacks,  things  that  are  easily  to  be  broken,  and  as  such  things 
cannot  be  of  much  use,   small  articles  for  show. 

5.  Nip,  Knap.  Knop  (b).     to  nip  (the  inital  &,  preserved 
in   G.  kneifen,    has   dropped)   to   pinch;   originally   perhaps 
the  noise  caused  by  a  thing  being  tightly  compressed  be- 
tween two   surfaces.   —   to  knap  to  crack,  to  open  with  a 
cracking  noise;   hence   the   substantive   knap   summit   of   a 
mountain;   as   to   the   transition   in   the  meaning  from  loud 
noise   to   elevation,    cp.   to   knoll   and   a    knoll.     Similarly 
knop   bud  (cp.   G.  Knospe)]  only   another   form   for  knop  is 
knob  any  kind  of  protuberance. 

6.  Slip.  Slap.  Slop,     to  slip  represents   a  soft,   hardly 
perceptible  sound  as  of  something  moving  down  a  slippery 
surface;  to  move  along  the  surface  of  something.  —  to  slap 
to  cause  a  flat  noise,  as  of  a  blow  with  the  flat  hand.  — 
to  slop,  according  to  Wedgwood,   an  imitation  of  the  sound 
of  dashing  water,  to  produce  such  a  sound  by  pouring  some 
liquid  in  or  out ;  also  to  drink  hastily.  -  -  Related  with  the 
latter  signification  is  that  of  slip-slop  bad  drink,  small  beer. 
A  similar  transition  in  the  meaning  is  to  be  stated  in  wish- 
wash,  snipes,  switchel;  slip-slop  is  also  used  when  speaking 
of  a  lax  and  washy  style  of  composition. 

*)  See  Wedgwood,  A  Dictionary  of  English  Etymology. 
London  1872. 


7.  Tip.  Tap.  Top.     tip,   originally  the   light  sound  pro- 
duced by  one  small  thing  touching  another,  hence,  the  end  or 
point  of  a  small  article,     to  tap  to  strike  gently,  the  instru- 
ment with  which  the  blow   is   performed,   being,  however, 
flatter  than  in  the  case  of  tip.   —   top.     The  original  sense 
of  causing  a  loud  noise  by  knocking,   having  been  lost,   it 
is,  like  tip,  applied  to  the  end  of  a  thing  with  which  a  blow 
may  be  given,  and  the  latter  limitation  having  also  dropped, 
to  the  highest  part  of  anything  in  general.    Used  as  a  verb, 
it  signifies  any   action  the  object  of  which  is  the  top  of  a 
thing,  particularly,  to  add  or  take  away  the  top  of  a  thing. 
—  tip-top,  used  as  a  substantive  or  as  an  adjective,  is,  in 
its  meaning,  a  sort  of  superlative  either  of  tip  or  of  top. 

8.  Ding.  Dang.  Dong.     The  fundamental  idea  is  to  pro- 
duce a  loud,  resounding  noise,     to  ding  to  throw  down  with 
a  loud  noise.  —   to  dang  to  strike,  to  give  a  heavy  blow. 
Both   these    words   are   but    little    used.      Very  frequently, 
however,   occurs  a  composite  form  in  which,   besides,  the 
original  meaning"  of  sound  is  more  distinctly  set  off:   ding- 
dong,  an  imitation  of  the  ringing  of  bells. 

2.  Words  with  the  Suffixes  le  and  er. 

9.  Diddle.  Daddle.  Doddle  express  the  different  degrees 
of  a  staggering,   reeling  movement.     The  original  significa- 
tion of  sound  is  still  to  be  discovered  in  Sc.  dad  =  slam 
(Wedgwood).     These  words  also  present  an  instance  of  what 
has  been  said  about  the  intimate  relation  existing  between 
the  suffixes  le  and  er;  by  the  side  of  diddle,  daddle  occur 
didder  to  tremble,  dadder  to  render  confuse,  as  a  trembling 
hand  f.  i.  does. 

The  same  remark  applies  to  the  following  two  groups 
of  words. 

10.  Gibber.  Gabble.    Gobber.    Both  to  gibber  and  to  gabble 
signify  to  talk  idly,  and  it  is  only  according  to  the  intensity 
of  the  noise  which  is  to  be  represented  that  either  the  one 
or  the  other  is  preferred.  —  gibble-gabble  idle,   nonsensical 
talk.  —  to  gobble  to  cry  like  a  turkey-cock. 

11.  Titter.    Tatter  (le}.    Tottle.     to    titter  to    produce   a 


succession  of  sharp  thin  sounds;  hence  to  laugh  in  a 
suppressed  manner,  expressing  inward  joy,  cp.  G.  kichern, 
Gr.  xixli&iv.  -  -  to  tattle  expresses  a  succession  of  open 
sounds,  to  prate.  The  suffix  er ,  occurring  in  other  Low 
German  dialects,  PI.  D.  tatern,  was  not  employed  in  English, 
because  the  word  formed  by  it  might  have  been  easily 
confounded  with  to  tatter  to  tear,  derived  as  it  seems  from 
a  Scandinavian  source,  --to  totter  to  tremble,  to  shake.  - 
titter-totter  swing.  --  tittle-tattle  nonsensical  talk. 

II.  i  a  u. 

1.  Pure  Roots. 

12.  Crimp.  Cramp.  Crump,  to  crimp  to  lay  in  light  waves 
or  plaits.  --  to  cramp,   the  contraction  is  more  constrained 
than  in  crimp;  hence  a  cramp  a  brace  which  holds  together 
pieces  of  timber.     Crump  occurs  only  as  an  adjective,   and 
signifies  crooked,  bent.    The  corresponding  verb  is  to  crumple 
cp.  No.  80. 

13.  Dig.  Dag.  Dug.  to  dig  to  drive  a  pointed  instrument 
into  something,  then  to  throw  up  earth,   dag,  originally  like 
diffy  the  thrust  with  a  sharp  instrument,  then  the  instrument 
itself  with   which    the   blow   is   given,    dagger.     It  seems, 
however,  impossible  to  reduce,  as  Wedgwood  does,  all  the 
significations  which  dag  has  taken,  only  to  this  origin;  cp. 
Miiller  Et.  Worterbuch   p.  272.   -   -   to   dug  to  stoop  to,  to 
bow  to. 

14.  Dip.  Dap.  Dab.  Dub.    All  of  them  originally  express 
the  more  or  less  loud  noise  of  water  agitated,     to  dip  to 
immerse  the  end  of  an  object  in  a  liquid.  —  to  dap  has  the 
same  meaning,   only  the   movement   is   slower.   -  -   to  dab, 
like  dap,  to  give  a  blow  with  the  flat  hand;  hence  'a  sepa- 
rate portion  of  a  substance,  so  much  as  is  thrown  down  at 
once.'    Wedgwood.  —  to  dub  a)  to  make  a  loud  noise;  b)  to 
strike,   particularly   to   make   one   a  knight.   -      Used  as  a 
substantive,   it   is    more   narrowly    connected    with    to    dip, 
meaning  a  small  pool  of  water. 


2.    Mixed  Forms  (partly  Pure  Hoots,  partly  Derivatives). 

15.  Hack.  Haggle.  Higgle.  Huck.  Huckster,  to  hack  to  give 
a  stroke   with   a   sharp   instrument,  hence   to  cut  in  small 
pieces.  —  to  haggle,   a   diminutive  form  of  hack,   to  cut  in 
small  pieces;  as  a  person  trying  to  buy  at  a  cheaper  price 
than  is  proposed  by  the  tradesman,  is,  as  it  were,  cutting 
or  hacking   off  a   part   of  the   fixed  sum,    to  haggle  also 
signifies  to  chaffer,  to  stickle  for  the  price  of  something.  — 
to  higgle.    Beside  the  latter  signification,  with  which  may  be 
compared   G.  knickern  from   knack,    and   Knicker  a  stingy 
fellow,  it  means  to  expose  small  things  for  sale  —  a  signi- 
fication  which   naturally  devolves  from   such  articles  being 
often  cut  in  pieces   before  being  sold.  —  to  huck,  a  word 
not  much  in  use,  with  the  same  signification  as  haggle  and 
higgle.    Directly  derived  from  it  is  the  substantive  huckster 
a  person   who   exposes   small  articles,  particularly  eatables, 
for  sale. 

16.  Himp.   Hump.    Hamper.     The    skipping    movement 
expressed  by  hip  (cp.  Nr.  72)  has  lost  its  vivacity  in  himp. 

-  hump,  the  original  meaning  of  tardy,  irregular  motion 
having  been  lost,  hump,  transferred  to  shape,  means  a  protu- 
berance on  the  back.  —  hamper  the  instrument  by  which  a 
person  is  prevented  from  moving  freely,  [hamper  basket 
has  been  derived  from  M.  L.  hanaperium,  0.  Fr.  hanap.] 

17.  Scrip.  Scrap.  Scrub.  Scribble.  Scrabble.     The  funda- 
mental idea  is  the  crack  made  by  a  hard  body  in  breaking ; 
hence  scrap  a  small  fragment,   particularly  of  paper,    scrip 
a  bit  of  paper,  already  filled  with  writing.    The  signification 
of  wallet,  satchel  is  explained  by  Wedgwood  as  'a  receptacle 
for  scraps,  a  scrap-sack'  cp.,  however,  Muller,  Etym,  Wb.  II, 
p.  303,  s.  scribe.  —  to  scrub,  implying  a  loud  and  harsh  sound, 
is  to  rub  or  scrape  with  something  rough.  —  The  diminutive 
ending  le  added,  scribble  and  scrabble  are  used  of  writing 
quickly  and  without  care.    Scribble-scrabble  what  is  scribbled 
or  scrawled. 

18.  Sniff.  Snuff.  Sniffle.  Snaffle.  Snuffle.  All  these  words 
represent  the  sound  made  by   drawing  breath  through  the 
nose,     to  sniff  or  snuff  at  something,  to  smell  at  something- 



as  certain  animals  are  in  the  habit  of  doing,  to  snuff  to 
blow  one's  nose,  is  also  transferred  to  the  cleansing  of  other 
things:  to  snuff  a  candle  &c.  In  the  signification  of  anger, 
indignation,  snuff  may  be  compared  with  G.  anschnauben 
and  Fr.  ronfler.  The  vowel  a  is  to  be  found  in  the  derivative 
snaffle  which,  like  its  parallel  forms  snuffle  and  sniffle,  means 
to  speak  through  the  nose. 

3.    Words  with  the  Suffixes  le  and  er. 

19.  Bibble.  Babble.  Bubble,     to   babble  to   make  a  mur- 
muring noise  as  a  brook  dabbling  along  over  stones ;  to  prate 
like  a  babe,  to  utter  words  imperfectly  or  unintelligibly.  —  to 
bubble,  from  the  sound   of  a  boiling  liquid,  which  is  not  so 
clear  as  that  of  water  quietly  flowing  along.     The  vowel  i 
is  in  bibble -babble,   a  colloquial  expression  for  idle  talking. 
Shakespeare  T.  N.  IV,  2. 

20.  Glitter.  Clatter.  Clutter,    to  clatter  to  make  a  rattling 
noise,    the    syllable   clat   being,    according    to    Wedgwood, 
equivalent  to  clack  or  slap.  —  to  clutter  represents  the  hollow 
noise  made  by  a  multitude  of  persons   stirring  quickly  and 
actively,  to  bustle.     As  in  Nr.  19,  i  is  found  in  cutter-clatter^ 
signifying   din,   confuse   talking,   as  in  some  provinces  also 
does  clatter- clutter. 

21.  Fiddle.    Faddle.    Fuddle,     to  fiddle,   like   to  faddle, 
signifies  to  move  up  and  down  in  an  uneasy  manner,  then, 
to  toy,  to  trifle  with  something.    It  may  be  that  the  formation 
of  fiddle   violin  has  been   influenced   by  the  verb,   although 
Wedgwood  ought  to  have  made  mention  of  Diez'  derivation 
of  the   word  from   vitulari  to   caper   about   and   be  wanton 
like  a  calf.    To  which  of  these  etymologies  we  may  incline, 
the  transition  of  the  meaning  is  the  same,  viz.  from  movement 
to  sound.  —  to  fuddle;  Wedgwood  thinks  it  to  be  a  by -form 
of  fuzzle  with  which   it   shares  the   meaning  to   get  drunk. 
But  this  meaning  may  quite  as  well  have  been  taken  from 
the  heavy,  irregular  manner  of  walking  of  a  drunken  person, 
whereas  in  fuzz,  fuzzle  the   idea  of  mixture  and  confusion 
has   led   to   the  vsame   signification.  —  fiddle-faddle   trifling, 


22.  Fimble.  Famble.  Fumble,    to  famble  to  talk  imperfectly 
like  a  child;  then,  the  sense  of  talking  lost;  it  is  applied  to 
other  kinds   of  imperfect  and  awkward  acting,  --to  fimble, 
in   conformity   with   the   light  vowel  2,   is  to   touch  lightly 
and  frequently  (le)  with  the  end  of  one's  fingers.  —  to  fumble 
to  grope  about  in  a  clumsy  manner.  —  The  original  sense 
of  talking  imperfectly,   of  having   an   impediment   in  one's 
speech,  is  again  discovered  in  fimble-famble  feigned  pretences, 
lame  excuses,  called  so,  because  apologies  of  that  description 
are  generally  not  brought  forth  in  fluent  words. 

23.  Piddle.  Paddle.  Puddle,     to  piddle.  That  the  sounds 
of  liquids  being  slowly  poured  out  was  originally  expressed 
by  this  word,  is  evident  from  the  fact  that  both  in  England 
and  Germany,   children  employ   it   in   the  sense  of  making 
water.     Then  it  is  used  of  other  childish  actions,  to  do  light 
and  trifling  work.     In  the  signification  to  eat  a  bit  here  and 
there,  there  seems  to  have  taken  place  a  confusion  with  bit.  — ' 
The  signification   of  splashing  in  the  wet  has  been  more 
distinctly  preserved  in  paddle  than  in  piddle.     It  does  not 
only  mean  to  move  the  water  with  the  hand,  but  it  is  used 
of  a  certain  kind  of  rowing,  as  a  paddle  is  a  sort  of  short 
oar.     In  the  sense  of  moving  water  with  the  hand,  Fr.  patte 
seems  to  have  been  of  a  certain  influence  on  paddle.    Water, 
being  moved,  becomes  troubled,  and  if  it  is  shallow,  even 
dirty  and  muddy ;  hence  to  puddle  to  trouble,  to  make  dirty ; 
a  puddle  a  small  quantity  of  muddy  water. 

24.  Ramble.    Rumble.    Rimple.    Rumple,      to    rumble,   G. 
rummeln  to  make  a  hoarse  protracted  sound;  as  such  noise 
is  often  accompanied  by  a  protracted  inegular  movement, 
to  ramble  is  to  rove  about.  —  The  words  showing  the  sharp 
consonant  p  are  used  in  a  transitive  sense,  and  transferred 
to  form,  signify  to  wrinkle,   to   crease;   particularly  to  knit 
one's  brows. 

III.  i  a  u  o. 

25.     Click.     Clack.     Cluck.     Clock.     Click  a  distinct  thin 
sound,  a  click  of  the  door-latch,  of  the  pendulum,  of  the  mill, 


with   the  tongue.  --  clack  represents  a  louder  sound  than 
click,   the  clack  of  a  whip,  the  clack  of  a  horse -hoof.  - 
click -clack  represents  the  noise  made  by  a  pair  of  wooden 
shoes,  &c.  -  -  to  cluck  (G.  glucken)  to  call  as  a  hen  does  her 
chickens.  —  clock,  called  so  from  the  striking. 

26.  Slibber.  Slabber.  Slubber.  Slobber.  All  of  them 
originally  express  the  sound  of  trickling  water,  to  slabber 
to  spill  water.  —  to  slobber  to  let  the  saliva  fall  from  the 
mouth  as  little  children  do.  —  to  slubber  to  soil  as  with 
dirt,  slibber- slabber  negligent,  careless. 

B.  i  a. 

1.    Pure  Boots. 

27.  Chit.     Chat,     to   chat  or  chatter   (cp.  Fr.  caqueter, 
G.  klatschen)  to  talk   on   indifferent  subjects  in  a  familiar 
manner.  —  chit-chat  idle  talk. 

28.  Clink.     Clank.     The   nasal  consonant  n  serves  to 
make  the  sharp  sound  expressed  by  click,  clack  tinnient  and 
ringing,     to   clink  is   chosen   if  that   sound   is  produced  by 
small  objects,  to  clank  is  used  of  large  and  hard  bodies.  — 
clink-clank  an  imitation  of  the  ringing  of  bells  &c.  —  By 
the  change  of  the  hard  guttural  k  into  the  flat  one  g,  the 
sound  is  softened. 

29.  Clip.     Clap.     Clip,   an  imitation   of  the  sound   of 
scissors,  hence  to  cut  off  a  small  piece  as  with  a  single  stroke 
of  scissors.  —  to  clap  to  strike  together  two  flat  objects,  as 
the  palms. 

30.  Clish.     Clash,     to  clash  to  produce  a  loud  rattling 
sound,  as  weapons  striking  together.  —  Clish-clash  or  clish-ma- 
clash  a  substantive  form  with  the  same  meaning. 

31.  Crick.     Crack,     to  crick  represents  a  sharp   sound 
like  that  of  a  creaking  door  or  of  cloth  being  rent  asunder. 

-  to  crack  to  sound  like  a  hard  object  breaking  or  splitting. 

-  Crick-crack,  a  substantive  form  like  clish- clash. 


32.  Film.     Flam.     The  original  notion   of  rapid  move- 
ment has  been  transferred  to  transitory  actions  and  to  things 
not  possessed  of  any  substantiality;  thus  to  flam  to  tell  lies. 
—  flim-flam,  like  fiddle-faddle,  trifle,  nonsense. 

33.  Griff -graft  by   hook  and  by   crook,   somehow   or 

34.  Kim-kam  against  the  grain,  in  a  wrong  way. 

35.  Mish.     Mash.   'Connected  with  to  mix,  mish-mash 
signifies  things  that  are  mixed  up  and  mingled.  —  to  mash 
to  crush  into  a  soft  mass. 

36.  miz-maze,  an  isolated  form  by  the  side  of  maze  a 
labyrinth,  a  place  with  many  winding  passages;  also   used 
as  a  verb,  to  render  confuse. 

37.  Pick-a-back    on   one's    back.      Wedgwood   thinks 
pick -a -hack   to   have   been   put  for  pick -pack  which  occurs 
with  the  same  signification;  the  substantive  back,  however, 
seems  to  have  been  of  a  certain  influence  on  the  formation 
of  the  word. 

38.  Pit.    Pat.    Pit  originally  represents   a  soft   sound 
like    that   of  the   throbbing    heart;    then    it   expresses    the 
tramping  of  feet,  and  hence  has  been  derived  the  meaning 
to  make  holes   in  the   ground  like  those  of  footsteps;  in  a 
more  amplified  signification  it  simply  means  to  make  holes. 

-  to  pat  to  give  a  light  blow  or  tap  with  the  palm  of  the 
hand,  cp.  the  colloquial  expression  in  G.  Patsche  hand.  — 
Pit-a-pat,  pitty-pat,  an  imitation  of  the  beating  of  the  heart. 
The  interposed  a  or  y  seems  to  indicate  the  pause  existing 
between  the  two  sounds  or  movements  expressed. 

39.  Prink.    Prank.     The  radical  image  seems   to   be 
that  of  a  show  which  strikes  the  eye;  cp.  the  same  Ablaut 
in  G.  blink  und  blank  with  a  similar  meaning.     Both  to  prink 
and  to  prank  signify  to  set  something  out  for  show,  to  dress 
or  adjust  ostentatiously  &c.     The  third  vowel  u  is  to  be 
found  in  G.  prunken. 

40.  Riff-raff.    The  original  idea   seems  to  have  been 
that  of  a  clattering,  confused  noise.     Like  miz-maze,  riff-raff 
intensifies  the  simple  raff,  signifying  refuse,  dregs,  scum  of 


anything ;  more  particularly  a  crowd  of  vulgar,  noisy  people, 
a  mob. 

41.  Rip.     Rap.     Ultimately,   according  to   Wedgwood, 
derived  from  the  sound  of  scratching  or  tearing,  to  rip  is  to 
separate  the  parts   of  a   thing   by  producing   that  peculiar 
thin  sound,   i.  e.  by  cutting   or   tearing,  --to  rap   to   strike 
with  a  quick  sharp  blow,  to  rap  at  a  door.  --  rip -rap  the 
noise  produced  by  several  loud  knocks. 

42.  Smick.     Smack.     An  imitation  of  the  sound  heard 
in  kissing  or  tasting,    also  a  smack  with  a  whip,   a  smack 
at  the  head.  --  smick-smack,  used  colloquially  and  deprecia- 
tively,  continual  kissing. 

43.  Snip.    Snap,    to   snip  to    cut  off  with  a  sharp  click, 
such  as  is  caused  by  a  pair  of  scissors.     The  vowel  i,  im- 
plying a  diminutive  notion,  is  particularly  used  when  small 
portions  are  separated  from  something ;  in  G.  the  same  idea 
is  expressed  by  the  suffix  el  in  schnippeln.  -  -  to  snap.   The 
original  sense   of  a  sharp  sudden  sound  is   still  discernible 
in  the  signification  to  break  asunder ;  then  it  is  to  bite  and 
swallow,  from  the  sound  produced  by  the  jaws  being  opened 
and  shut   on  a   sudden.   -  -  snip-snap   a  clapping  noise,   a 
lively  dispute  or  altercation.    See  Merry  Wives  IV,  5. 

44.  Thtvick.  Thwack,    to  thwack  to  strike  with  something 
flat  and  heavy.      Thwick- thwack  like    many   other   words, 
formed  in  the  same  way,  expresses  the  sound  of  blows. 

45.  Tick.  Tack,    to  tick  to  make  a  clear  distinct  sound 
as  a   watch   or  clock.     Applied  to  a  slight  touch,   it  means 
to  dot.  —  to  tack.  "The  original  meaning  of  a  sharp  sound  having 
been  quite  lost,  it  signifies,  as  is  still  discernible  in  several 
terms  of  marine,  a  sharp  movement  abruptly  checked.    Then, 
as  words  expressive  of  movement  are  often  applied  to  shape 
and  form,  tack  takes  the  meaning  of  thrust,  projection,  point. 
—  tick-tack  the  sound  of  a  watch  or  clock. 

46.  Tig.    Tag.    Byforms  of  tick,  tack;  tig  an  expression 
used  in  the  games  of  children ;  tag  an  especial  sort  of  tack, 
viz.  the  metallic  point  put  at  the  end  of  a  lace. 

47.  Ting(k).    Tang.     Theee  nasalized  forms  of  tig(ck), 
tag  are  imitations  of  a  more  or  less  ringing  sound,  as  is  pro- 


duced  f.  i.  by  a  bell.  The  same  applies  to  the  forms  tingle, 
tangle,  tankle,  in  which  the  suffix  le  indicates  the  continua- 
tion of  the  act  of  ringiug.  —  tang,  tangle  originally  express 
the  dissonant  sound,  which  is  caused  by  an  instrument  being- 
put  in  tune.  Thence  the  idea  of  irregularity  and  confused- 
ness  is  transferred  to  intricate  or  involved  textures.  Thus 
it  comes  that  to  tangle  takes  the  signification  to  unite  con- 
fusedly, and  that  tang,  in  several  technical  terms,  signifies 
the  instrument  which  serves  to  unite  two  parts  of  the  same 
object  (the  tang  of  a  file  or  blade  unites  the  file  or  blade 
with  the  handle  or  hilt).  In  the  same  way,  tang ,  tangle 
seaweed  are  to  be  explained  as  something  confuse  and  in- 

48.    Trick.    Track,    trick    artifice,   originally   perhaps   a 
stroke;  cp.  the  same  development  of  meaning  in  G.  Stretch. 

-  track  step,  print  of  the  foot,  then  a  beaten  way  or  path. 

-  tric-trac.     Directly  taken  from  the  French;  cp.  Scheler, 
Dictionnaire   Etymologique   (Bruxelles   1872):   'mot  de  fan- 
t aisle,  anc.  tic-tac,  onomatopee  tiree  du  bruit  que  ^font  les  des 
lances  sur  le  damier  . 

14.  Trip.  Trap,   to  trip  to  move  with  light  quick  steps. 

-  trap.  The  original  sense  of  a  flat  sound  may  be  illustra- 
ted by  a  comparison  between  E.  trap -door  and  G.  Klappe. 
In  the  same  manner  trap  a  spring  for  taking  game,  is  to 
be  explained,  whilst  the  same  word  has  been  applied  to 
bodily  shape  in  the  meaning  of  a  heavy  igneous  rock,  rocks 
of  that   description  generally  occurring  in  a  tabular  form. 

50.  Zig-zag.   The  change  of  the  vowel  is  corresponding 
with   the  change  in  the  movement  or  in  the  shape  of  an 
object.     From  zig-zag  have,  by  a  proceeding  not  very  fre- 
quent in  such  words,  been  derived  zigzaggery,  zigzaggy. 

2.  Words  with  the  Suffixes  le  and  er. 

51.  Crinkle.    Crankle.    Nasalized  forms  of  crick,  crack. 
With   the   common   transition   from  sound  to  movement,  to 
crinkle  is  to  run  in  flexures  as  lightning  does,    to  crank,  to 
crankle  to  wind,  to  meander;  the  latter,  besides,  is  used  as 
a  transitive  verb,  to  break  into  angles. 


52.  Dibble.   Dabble,   to  dabble,   in  a  neuter  sense,  is  to 
splash;  used  as  an  active  verb,   it  means  to  dip  something 
into   water.  —  to   dibble   generally   used   of  an   angle -line 
thrown  into  the  water.  —  dibble-dabble  rubbish. 

53.  Dingle.  Dangle  (Cp.  No.  8).    to  dangle  to  swing,  as 
a  pendulum.   -  -   dingle  a  narrow  rocky   vale  is  taken  by 
Miiller  to  be  a  byform  of  dimple.     But  as  swinging  objects 
generally  are  of  a  certain  length,   but  not  very  thick  and 
broad,  it  rather  belongs  to   dangle,  and  is  to  be  compared 
with  words  as  pit  and  swang.  —  dingle-dangle  swinging, 
pendent,  also  the  object  which  is  swinging. 

54.  Fingle.  Fangle.    According  to  Wedgwood  nasalized 
forms  of  G.  ftck-facken,  to  fidget,  move  to  and  fro  without 
apparent  purpose.     An  antiquated  form  is  to  fang  to  catch, 
take  hold  of,  which  seems  to  have  influenced  the  meaning 
of  fangle  (cp.  the  subst.  fang  the  tusk  of  a  boar  by  which 
the  prey  is  seized  and  held).  --  fangle  whimsies,  a  sudden 
odd  idea.   -  -  fang  led,   in  new-fangled   ideas  &c,   is   con- 
trived, devised,    ftngle-fangle  a  worthless  thing,  an  insigni- 
ficant trifle.  . 

55.  Giggle.  Gaggle,   to  giggle  to  laugh  in  a  suppressed 
manner,  --to  gaggle  to  quackle  as  ducks  do. 

56.  Jingle.  Jangle,  to  jingle  to  produce  a  sharp  rattling 
sound.  —  to  jangle,  the  sound  produced  is  louder  and  more 

57.  Mingle.  Mangle,  to  mingle  to  blend,  to  mix.  —  mingle- 
mangle  expresses  the  same  idea  as  mish-mash  (No.  35). 

58.  Niggle.  Naggle.  to  niggle  'to  eat  mincingly',  and  as 
people  often  do  so    with  an  affected  air,   to  naggle,  beside 
the  signification  just  given,  is  also  to  give  one's  self  airs. 

59.  Pitter.  Patter  (cp.  No.  58).     Both  of  them  represent 
the  more  or  less  loud  sound  of  falling  rain  or  hail  &c. 

60.  Prittle.  Prattle,   to  prattle,   a  diminutive  form  of  to 
prate.  —  to  prittle  has  the  same  signification,  the  sound  being, 
however,  somewhat  lighter  than  in  prattle.  --  prittle-prattle, 
like  bibble-babble ,  gibble-gabble  &c.  idle,  nonsensical  talk. 

61.  Quiver.  Quaver,  to  quiver  to  shake  slightly.  —  to  quaver 
to  tremble,  to  vibrate. 


62.  Ribble- Rabble,   the   same  signification    as  riff-raff 
(No.  40). 

63.  Shilly-shally,  foolery,  irresolution. 

64.  Skimble-skamble,  confusedly.  1  King  Henry  IV,  2,  1. 

65.  Dilly.  Dally,  to  dally  to  waste  one's  time  in  trifles, 
then,  the  act  of  caressing  and  fondling  a   person   being 
considered  as  a  mere  loss  of  time,  it  also  means  to  inter- 
change caresses.  -  -  dilly-dally  v.  n.  to  pass   one's  time  in 
trifling,  i.  e.  to  delay  business  of  a  serious  character.    In 
some  dialects  it  also  is  lazy,  lazy  girl. 

In  a  number  of  words,  belonging  to  this  category,   a, 
after  tv,  takes  the  sound  of  o  (see  Matzner,  Gramm.  I,  p.  30) : 

66.  Swing.  Swang.    to  swing  to  move  from  side  to  side, 
to  vibrate.  —  swang,  soft  wet  ground,  shaking  and  yielding 
under  one's  feet,  i.  e.  a  bog,  a  moor,  cp.  quagmire,  connected 
with  quake  =  to  quiver,  shake.  —  swing -swang  a  movement 
like  that  of  a  pendulum,  which  in  some  parts   of  England, 
is,  according  to  Wedgwood,  called  swing -swang. 

67.  Swish.    Swash.     Both    these   words   represent   the 
sound  of  rushing  waves  or  of  the  roaring  sea ;  hence  swash, 
used  as  a  substantive,  a  violent  stream,  a  torrent.  —  swish- 
swash  =  slip -slop  No.  6. 

68.  Widdle.    Waddle,    to  waddle  to  throw,  when  walking, 
the  body  from  one  side  to  the  other.  —  Widdle- waddle,  to  walk 
widdle- waddle  =  to  walk  as  ducks  do. 

69.  Whip.    Whap.     to    whip    represents    the    swinging 
sound  of  a  lash;  to  strike  with  a  lash.  --  to   whap ,  collo- 
quially used  for  to  flog,  expresses  the  same  swinging  sound, 
produced,  however,  not  by  a  swinging,  but  by  an  unbending- 

70.  Twiddle.    Twaddle,     to  twiddle  to   act   with   levity, 
to  trifle;  to  twiddle  about  one's  mustachios;  a  by -form  of 
twiddle  is  tweedle,  in   which   the  long  vowel  expresses  a 
somewhat  slower  movement.  —  to  twaddle,  twiddle -twaddle 
express,   like   many   other  words  of  the   same  description, 
idle,  nonsensical  talk. 


C.  i  o  (li). 
I.    i  o. 

1.    Pure  Roots. 

71.  Fib.  Fob.   to  fib  seems  originally  to  be  the  imitation 
of  a  smart,  rapid  movement,  and  as  things  rapidly  moving 
before   our  eyes,   do   not  only   fail  to  give  us  a  clear  idea 
of  their   nature,   but    often  even  make  a  wrong  impression 
on   us,   it   is   easily   to  be  conceived  how   to  fib  has  taken 
the   sense  of  practising  upon  a  person,    and  of  telling  lies. 
The  same  development  has  been  taken  by  to  fob  to  which, 
however,    the    altered    vowel    has    imparted    an   intensive 
meaning,  to  defraud,   to  cheat.     G  Kniff  by  which  in  some 
cases  E.  fob  may  be  rendered  represents  a  similar  development 
of  meaning.     As  to  fob  =  pocket,   Mtiller  (Etymologisches 
Worterbuch  I,  p.  395)   is    inclined  to  suppose  that  the  idea 
of  shutting  rapidly  led  people  to   call,   by   distinction,  that 
object  which  is  very  often  shut  and  opened,  a  fob. 

72.  Hip.   Hop.     to  hip  to   skip   as  birds  do.  -  -  to  hop 
implies   a  more   energetic   muscular  movement,   to  leap  or 
jump  either  on  both  legs  or  on  one.     The  haunch  is  called 
hip  from  its  being  the  agent  of  such  movement.  -  -  hip-hop 
to  hip. 

73.  Sing-song  does  not  belong  to  the  imitative  words 
in  the  strict  sense  of  the  term,   for  the   simple  reason  that 
similar  compositions   generally  consist  of  two  verbs.     Sing- 
song has   been   formed   in   analogy   to    many  other  words, 
representing  the  sound  of  the  human  voice,  generally  with 
a  depreciative  meaning;   the  vowel   o   seems  to  have  been 
chosen  on   account  of  the  substantive  song  already  existing; 
cp.  G-.  Sing  sang. 

2.    Words  with  Suffixes. 

74.  Hiccius  -  doctius  =  hie  est  doctus,   a  juggler;   the 
accidental  Ablaut  seems  to  have  contributed  to  the  formation 
of  this  curious  word. 

75.  Kibble- cobble.     The  radical  image  is  an  irregular 


noise  as  is  caused  by  stones  being  cut.  to  kibble  to  cut  or 
grind  in  a  rough  way;  cobble,  cobble-stones  large,  rough 
stones;  used  as  a  verb,  to  cut  stones,  transferred  to  other 
kinds  of  action,  it  is  to  work  unskilfully. 

76.     Ninny -nanny  irresolute,  wavering  like  a  child.     It. 
ninna  ninna  is  used  in  the  signification  to  still  children. 


II.    i  u. 

77.  Din.   Dun.     to  din  to  cause  a  loud  continued  sound 
(L.  tinnire).  --to  dun  to  make  a  hollow  noise,  to  clamour, 
then  to  claim  a  debt  with  importunity,  to  bother. 

78.  Fizz.   Fuzz,     to  fizz  represents  a  hissing  sound  as 
is   caused  by   boiling   water   or  by  fire  being  extinguished. 
As   things   which   fizz,   generally   form  a  loose   and  frothy 
mass  which  it  is  easy  to  separate,  to  fuzz  is  to  rip  up,  to 
pull  in   pieces,  and   the  substantive  fuzz  is  applied  to  any 
kind  of  particles  which  are  apt  to  evaporate.    On  the  other 
hand,  things   which   evaporate   composing  a   confuse  mass, 
to  fuzz  and  fuzzle,  in  a  tropical  sense  mean  to  confuse  the 
head  with  drink  (cp.  fuddle,  No.  21). 

79.  Hiss.    Huzz.     to  hiss  to  make   a   prolonged   sound 
like  that  of  the  letter  s.  --  to  huzz,   like  to  buzz,  to  make 
a  dull  sound,  like  that  of  a  bee  in  flight,  to  murmur. 

80.  Crimple.    Crumple.    Compare  crimp,  crump  No.  12. 
to  crumple  is  the  verb  corresponding  to  the  adjective  crump, 
to   ruffle,   to   crease;   to   crimple  has  the  same  signification, 
the  creases  produced  being  only  finer  and  more  frequent. 

III.    i  o  u2. 

81.  Lill.   Loll.   Lull.    The  letter  /  being  easily  produced 
by  the  tongue,  and  being  often  employed  by  little  children 
instead    of  other   letters,   it  is  not  surprising  that  in  many 
languages    it    serves   to    express    the    imperfect    speech  of 
children.     In  English,   /    has  riot  been   combined  with  the 
vowel   a,  as  in   L.  lallare,  Gr.  Aatelv,  G.  lallen,  but,   as  a 


sort   of  compensation,   the  vowel  u  occurs    in   two   shapes, 


viz.  o  and  u.  to  lill,  an  antiquated  word,  to  gasp  as  a 
dog  out  of  breath;  very  rarely  it  is  used  like  to  loll  to 
put  out  one's  tongue.  Spenser  F.  Q.  I,  34: 

'Curled  with  thousand  adders  venomous 
And  tilled  forth  his  bloody,  flaming  tong! 

to  lull  to  produce  those  protracted  and  monotonous  sounds 
by  which  a  child  is  put  to  sleep;  cp.  lullaby  song  used  to 
lull  children  asleep;  then,  to  cause  to  rest  by  soothing 
influences,  to  quiet,  to  assuage.  -  -  A  child  lulled  in  is  or 
becomes  sleepy.  Thus  to  loll  signifies  to  be  lazy  and  sleepy, 
to  act  indolently,  to  lie  at  ease  as  a  baby  going  to  sleep; 
and  as  the  tongue  of .  an  old  jade  or  an  exhausted  dog 
hangs  dangling  from  his  mouth,  it  also  is  to  put  out  one's 
tongue,  cp.  to  lill. 

D.  a  u  (rarely  o) 

1.  Pure  Roots. 

82.  Bang.  Bung,     to  bang  to  beat  with  something  large 
and  rough.  -  -  to  bung  has  a  similar  signification,  f.  i.  to  bung 
up  a 'person's  eye.    bung.  s.  the  stopper  of  a  cask,  from  the 
hollow  sound  caused  by  driving  it  in. 

83.  Crash.  Crush.  Crush-crash.  All  of  them  are  expressive 
of  a   clattering,   boisterous  noise,     to   crush   represents  the 
sound  produced  by  two  hard  bodies  being  ground,  hence  to 
press  between  two  hard  bodies. 

84.  Cranch.  Crunch.  They  are  nasalized  forms  of  crash,  crush 
(Nr.  83),  sh  having  been  changed  into  ch  on  account  of  the 
nasal  n.    Cranch  or  craunch  represents  the  prolonged  sound 
of  crash,   which   is  produced  by  one  object  slowly  bruising 
and  pounding  another  object.    It  is  also  used,  as  is  always 
to  crunch^  in  the  sense  of  gnashing  one's  teeth. 


85.  Flash.  Flush.  Flash,   originally  the  sound  of  a  rush 
of  water  or  sudden  burst  of  flame,  a  quick  transitory  move- 
ment like  that  of  lightning;  then  a  sudden  burst  of  light,  a 
momentary  brightness.  -  -  to  flush  to  flow  suddenly,   as  the 
blood  of  a  person  blushing. 

86.  Gash.  Gush.  The  original  signification  is  a  loud  noise 
like  that  of  splashing  water,     to  gash  to  make  a  long  and 
deep  incision  in  something,  particularly  in  flesh.  —  to  gush  to 
rush  forth  in  a  copious  stream. 

87.  Grab.  Grub,     to  grab  to   lay   hold  of,  to  seize;   cp. 
the  same  vowel  and  the  same  signification  in  Prov.  G.  grapsen. 
to  grub  originally  to  clear  a  piece  of  ground  of  weeds,  then 
to  dig.    Connected  with,  though  not  derived  from,  AS.  graban. 

88.  Rash.  Rush.  They  express  'the  sound  accompanying  any 
violent  action'.     Wedgwood,    to  rash  to  throw  violently  down 
as  a  boar  does  with  his  tusks;  rash,  adj.,  hasty  and  hurrying 
without  consideration  and  thought.  —  to  rush  to  move  with 
violence,  as  the  wind  or  a  river. 

2.    Words  with  the  Suffixes  le,  er. 

89.  Gargle.  Gurgle.  They  represent  the  sound  of  bubbling 
water,     to  gargle  to  rinse  one's  throat  --  to  gurgle  to   rush 
forth  in  an  irregular  noisy  current. 

90.  Maffle.  Muffle,     to   maffle  represents   a  sound   such 
as  is  produced  by  toothless  jaws  clapping  together;   hence 
to  stammer,  to  speak  in  a  broken  and  faltering  voice,  in 
the  signification  to  wrap  up.  it  is,  however,  derived   from 
muff,    see   Miiller,  Etym.   Worterb.  II.   p.  111.     Both   these 
meanings   have   been  joined  in   expressions   like  a  muffled 
oar,   a  muffled   drum,   i.  e.   an  oar  or   a  drum  at  which  a 
twisted  piece  of  cloth  has  been  fastened  in  order  to  deaden 
the  sound. 

91.  Straggle.    Struggle.      The    signification    of   broken 
sound,   which  Wedgwood  supposes  these  words  to  have  had 
at  first,  having  been  lost,  they  only  refer  to  broken  movement. 
to  straggle  to   wander   carelessly  about;    and   as  a  person 
leaving   the  direct  road   and  following  his  own  way,  must 


be  prepared  to  find  many  obstacles,  to  struggle  is  to  strive 
or  make  efforts,  to  exert  one's  energies. 

3.  Mixed  Forms. 

92.  Blab.    Blabber.    Blubber.    Blob.      All    of  them    are 
originally,  according  to  Wedgwood,  an  imitation  of  the  sound 
of  dashing  water,     to   blab   or   blabber  to   talk   loosely   and 
foolishly,     to  blubber  to  weep  noisily ;  the  vowel  u  is  in  its 
place,  because  the  noise  produced  by  crying  and  sobbing  is 
much  hollower  than  that  effected  by  mere  talking.    As  crying 
is  necessarily  accompanied  by  swollen  lips  and  cheeks,  blub, 
used  as  a  verb  an<J  as  an  adjective,  signifies  to  swell,  swollen. 
A  parallel  form   with   blub  is  blob',   a)  the   mouth    distorted 
by  crying  b)  anything  swollen,  f.  i.  blob-cheeked,  blob-lipped. 

-  A  byform  of  blab  is  bleb  which  has  taken  the  particular 
sense  of  a  watery  pustule. 

93.  Slatter.   Slottery.   Slut.     Originally   an   imitation   of 
the  sound   of  dashing    water   Or   splashing   dirt.     Hence  to 
slatter  to  walk  slovenly,  as  a  person  walking  through  dirt. 
Slottery r,  sluttish  dirty,  slut  a  dirty  woman. 

Having  thus  enumerated  the  words  and  groups  of  words 
in  which  primary  Ablaut  has  been  preserved,  I  shall  now 
turn  my  attention  to  the  so  called  strong  verbs,  i.  e.  to  those 
which  form  their  Past  Tense  by  change  of  vowel1).  This 
change  of  vowel  does  not  only  serve  to  distinguish  the 
Perfect  Tense  and  the  Past  Participle  both  from  each  other  and 
from  the  Present  Tense,  but  as  many  verbs,  substantives 
and  adjectives  have  been  derived  from  strong  verbs,  it  is 
also  of  great  importance  for  the  formation  of  words.  Grimm, 

*)  The  works  made  use  of  for  the  following  disquisition  are: 
J.  Grimm,  Deutsche  Grammatik  II,  GOttingen  1826.  —  Fr.  Koch,  Histo- 
rische  Grammatik  der  Engl.  Sprache  1863—1869.—  R.  Morris,  Histo- 
rical Outlines  of  English  Accidence,  London  1875.  —  Wedgwood, 
Dictionary  of  English  EtymolQgy,  London  1872.  --  Muller,  Etymo- 
logisches  Worterbuch  der  Englischen  Sprache,  Coethen1865.  —  Grein, 
Sprachschatz  der  angelsachsichen  Dichter,  Cassel  und  Gottingen  1861. 
-  I  have  adopted  the  classification  and  arrangement  of  verbs  given 
by  Koch. 


in  the  second  part  of  his  grammar,  has  given  a  list  of  such 
words,  as  far  as  they  occur  in  the  oldest  German  dialects;  ' 
I  shall  try  in  the  following  pages  to  fix  what  words  in 
Modern  English  are  still  to  be  considered  as  formed  by 
means  of  Ablaut.  As  the  same  AS.  sound  represents 
several  sounds  in  Modern  English,  and  as,  on  the  other  side, 
the  same  English  vowel  is  based  on  several  sounds  in  the 
parent  speech,  the  words  derived  from  strong  verbs  cannot 
have  taken  so  regular  a  development  as  the  onomatopoetic 
words,  and  in  each  case ,  therefore ,  it  will  be  necessary  to 
set  out  from  the  original  AS.  form. 

The  strong  verbs  are  divided  into  two  groups:  those 
in  which  the  original  method  of  reduplication  may  still  be 
discovered  in  Gothic  and  partly  also  in  AS.,  and  those  in 
which  the  traces  of  this  method  have  been  totally  effaced 
in  all  Teutonic  dialects.  Examining  the  words  belonging  to 
the  first  of  these  categories,  we  are  struck  by  the  complete 
absence  of  all  derivative  formations.  The  reasons  of  this 
grammatical  phenomenon  lie  in  the  very  character  and 
nature  of  these  verbs.  The  root -vowel  in  them  was  for  a 
much  longer  time  kept  up  than  in  those  of  the  second 
category,  and  it  was  only  at  a  comparatively  recent  period 
that  in  the  Perfect  Tense  the  combination  eo  rose  into 
existence.  When  at  last  this  moment  arrived,  the  time  in 
which  new  words  were  created  by  means  of  Ablaut,  had 
already  past,  and  it  was  impossible  to  employ  the  newly- 
contracted  forms  for  that  purpose. 

All  the  words,  therefore,  of  which  I  have  to  treat  in 
the  following  pages,  have  been  derived  from  the  second 
category  of  strong  verbs;  and  even  their  number  must  still 
be  limited  as  it  is  well  known  that  many  of  them  have  , 
been  lost  in  course  of  time.  The  first  class,  f.  i.,  comprised, 
according  to  Koch,  73  verbs,  of  which  less  than  one  half 
—  only  34  —  have  survived;  all  the  rest  have  disappeared. 
Part  of  them  gave  up  their  place  to  French  verbs,  teldan 
to  cover,  hlimman  to  sound,  grimman  to  rage,  linnan  to 
cease,  prvingan  to  constrain,  hweorfan  to  return  &c;  in  other 
cases,  there  existed  already  in  AS.  two  words  conveying 



the  same  idea,  and  one  of  them,  seeming  to  be  superfluous, 
was  dropped.  It  is  curious  to  see  that  in  such  cases  the 
language  generally  preferred  a  weak  verb  to  a  strong  one; 
so:  pencean,  pyncan  to  think  to  simian,  teolian  to  toil  to 
srvincan,  clcensian  to  cleanse  to  sweorfan,  ascian  to  ask  to 
gefregnan.  What  has  been  stated  with  regard  to  one 
class ,  applies  of  course  to  all  others,  and  as  besides  in 
Modern  English  we  sometimes  find  a  weak  form  by  the  side 
of  a  strong  one,  we  are  fully,  entitled  to  draw  the  conclusion 
that  in  process  of  time  weak  verbs  became  preponderating, 
and  consequently  the  number  of  words  formed  by  means  of 
Ablaut  less  frequent;  and  that,  on  the  other  hand,  in  a  stage 
of  the  language  of  which  no  monuments  are  extant,  the 
number  of  strong  verbs  and  that  of  their  derivatives  was 
greater  than  in  AS.  —  And  indeed,  it  does  not  unfrequently 
happen  that  some  of  the  old  Teutonic  dialects  represent  the 
strong  verb  which  has  been  lost  in  AS.  In  other  cases, 
the  existing  Ablaut -formations  clearly  point  to  a  lost  root- 
verb,  of  which  Grimm  also  enumerates  a  certain  number; 
it  needs,  however,  hardly  be  added  that  we  cannot  proceed 
too  cautiously  on  this  hypothetical  ground. 

There  is  still  another  change  of  vowel  to  be  taken  into 
account  which,  essentially  differing  from  Ablaut,  is  often  to 
be  met  with  in  words  created  by  means  of  Ablaut.  The 
endings  which  added  to  the  root,  served  to  form  verbs  and 
substantives,  exercised,  in  their  turn,  an  influence  on  the 
root -vowel.  This  change  is  called  Umlaut;  and  in  AS.  it  is 
particularly  produced  by  a  following  2,  by  which  a  preceding- 
deep  vowel  is  rendered  more  light  and  clear.  The  complete 
scheme  for  the  I -Umlaut  in  AS.  is: 

a  becomes  e        u  becomes  y        u  becomes  y 

a  ae      ea  y       ea  y 

6  e       eo  y       eo  y 

(cp.  Koch  Gr.  p.  43,  §  38;  March,  A  Comparative  Grammar 

of  the  AS.  Tongue  §  32).     As  we  shall  have  instances  of 

all  these  changes,  it  is  not  necessary  to  give  any  here. 

The  words,  derived  from  strong  verbs  by  means  of  Ab- 
laut, with  which  in  many  cases  Umlaut  has  been  combined, 


may  naturally  he  divided  into  three  classes:  either  they  are 
verbs,  or  they  are  substantives,  or  lastly  adjectives. 

The  strong  verbs  which  are,  if  not  the  oldest,  yet  the 
most  characteristic  constituents  of  the  vocabularies  of  the 
Teutonic  dialects,  form  as  it  were  a  stock  which  may  well 
be  diminished  but  which  does  not  allow  of  any  augmentation. 
Thus  it  is  impossible  that  they  should  have  procreated  strong- 
verbs;  in  spinnan  span  spunnen  and  spannan  spbn  spanen 
we  have  two  different  roots,  as  also  the  significations  in  AS. 
to  spin  and  to  allure  have  nothing  in  common.  It  is  the 
same  in  scafan  scdf  scafen  to  shave  and  sceofan  sce&f  scufon 
sco fen  to  shove.  All  the  verbs,  on  the  contrary,  derived 
from  strong  verbs,  are  weak  ones,  i.  e.  they  express  tense 
not  by  changing  their  root-vowel,  but  by  composition  with 
de(te).  A  characteristic  sign  of  AS.  weak  verbs  is  their 
Present-stem  ending  in  ia  (Inf.  iari).  In  many  stems  i  has  disap- 
peared, not,  however,  without  leaving  traces  of  its  existence ; 
either  it  has  geminated  the  last  consonant  of  the  root,  lecgan 
(=  legion],  sellan  (=  selian)  dippan  (=  dipian},  or  it  has 
been  the  cause  of  Umlaut  taking  place,  mcenan,  sprengan, 
styrman.  The  most  simple  and  natural  way  of  forming 
weak  verbs  from  strong  ones  was  only  to  change  the  ending, 
that  is  to  say,  to  use  the  same  root  for  the  formation  of  a 
strong  and  a  weak  verb.  As  by  this  proceeding  the  idea 
expressed  by  the  strong  verb  could  hardly  be  modified, 
several  weak  verbs  were  in  AS.  indiscriminately  employed 
by  the  side  of  strong  ones,  until  at  last  they  succeeded  to 
supersede  the  latter,  to  grin,  to  elope,  to  love,  to  step,  to 
well,  to  wield  are  based  on  the  weak  verbs  grinjan,  ah-ledpian, 
leofjan,  steppan,  wellan,  wyldan,  which,  in  their  turn,  have 
taken  the  place  of  strong  verbs,  viz.  grman,  hledpan,  leofan, 
stapan,  weallan,  wealdan. 

Only  one  verb,  corresponding  in  its  form  to  those  just 
mentioned,  differs  in  its  signification.  This  verb  is  to  fell, 
from  fellan,  which  exists  by  the  side  of  fyllan  as  wellan  by 
the  side  of  wyllan,  the  forms  with  e  having  been  ultimately 
preferred  in  order  to  distinguish  these  words  from  to  fill  = 
to  make  full,  and  the  auxiliary  verb  /  will.  To  fell  is  the 



transitive  form  of  to  fall  and  has  taken  a  causative  meaning, 
signifying  to  cause  to  fall,  to  prostrate.  In  that  respect  it 
is  connected  with  a  whole  group  of  verbs  to  which,  quite 
in  the  same  way,  the  vowel  e  imparts  a  transitive  meaning, 
in  which,  however,  e  is  not  the  Umlaut  of  the  vowel  exhibited 
by  the  Present  Tense,  but  of  that  which  in  found  in  the 
Perfect  Tense.  The  vowel  a  (ce)  of  which  e  is  the  Umlaut, 
being  employed  in  the  Perfect  Tense  of  the  first  three  classes 
of  the  second  division  of  strong  verbs,  all  the  transitive  verbs 
with  causative  meaning,  derived  from  strong  verbs  and 
exhibiting  the  vowel  e,  belong  to  one  of  these  three  categories. 

I.  to  bind  (AS.  bindari)  to  tie  together ;  to  bend  (AS.  bendan) 
to  make  a  thing  apt  to  be  tied  with  another  one,  i.  e.  to 
render  curved,  to  crook  something  by  straining  it. 

to  blink  (AS.  blincan)  to  wink,  to  shut  one's  eyes  on  a 
sudden;  to  blench  (AS.  blencari)  to  make  one  shut  his  eyes, 
as  by  a  sudden  fright,  to  hinder,  prevent;  generally  in  a 
transitive  sense  like  to  blink. 

to  drink  (AS.  drincari)',  to  drench  (AS.  drencan)  to  cause 
(a  horse)  to  drink. 

to  stink  (AS.  stincari);  to  stench  (AS.  stencan)  to  cause 
that  something  stinks. 

to  quinch  (AS.  quincan),  originally  to  go  out,  then  trans- 
ferred to  other  kinds  of  rapid  movement;  to  quench  (AS. 
quencan)  to  cause  to  go  out,  to  put  out,  to  extinguish. 

to  wind  (AS.  windari);  to  wend  (AS.  wendan]  originally 
like  G.  wenden,  to  cause  something  to  wind  itself.  But 
very  early  to  wend  has  taken  an  intransitive  sense  = 
to  walk. 

It  has  been  somewhat  different  in  AS.  blindan  'turbid urn, 
nubilum  esse',  AS.  blendan  to  cause  something  to  become 
turbidum,  nubilum ;  i.  e.  a)  to  mix  things  together  so  that 
they  cannot  be  easily  distinguished,  b)  to  render  the  eyesight 
dim.  That  these  two  meanings  might  be  distinguished,  the 
signification  b)  was  transferred  to  to  blind,  which  after  the 
original  strong  verb  had  been  quite  lost,  was  formed  from 
the  adjective  blind. 

In  AS.  belonged  to  the  same  category:  scrincan  screnean; 


sincan  sencan;  springan  sprcngan;  stringan  strengan;  in  all 
these  cases,  however,  the  weak  forms  were  not  possessed 
of  sufficient  vitality  to  exist  by  the  side  of  the  strong  ones: 
the  latter,  on  the  contrary,  have  also  taken  their  functions. 
A  different  way  was  taken  in  AS.  singan,  AS.  sengan  to 
cause  to  sing,  i.  e.  to  give  a  particular  sound  as  that  of 
light  objects  being  burnt;  then  to  burn  slightly;  the  idea  of 
AS.  sengan,  for  which  we  should  expect  sench  (cp.  blench, 
drench,  stench),  has,  however,  not  been  expressed  by  change 
of  vowel,  but  by  a  modification  of  the  last  consonant. 

There  is  no  Umlaut  in  steorfan  perire,  stearfjan  perdere ; 
to  starve,  in  Modern  English,  has  both  these  significations. 

II.  AS.   crvelan  to   be  tormented,   to   die;    AS.  cwelian, 
cwellan  to  kill  and  to  quell:  two  parallel  forms  derived  from 
the  same  AS.  word. 

III.  to  lie  (AS.  licgan)-,   to  lay  (AS.  lecgan)  to  cause  to 
lie,  to  put  or  place. 

AS.  crvican  to  move  (cp.  quick)]  AS.  cwacjan,  crveccan 
=  to  quake,  originally  to  make  something  move;  then- 
crvican  having  been  lost,  in  an  intransitive  sense,  to  tremble, 
to  shudder. 

to  sit  (AS.  sittan) ;  to  set  (AS.  settan)  to  cause  to  sit, 
to  put  or  place. 

To  these  may  be  added:  to  tear  (AS.  terari),  to  tar  to 
cause  to  tear,  to  incitate,  derived  from  0  Fr.  tarier,  which 
is  based  on  a  weak  Germanic  verb,  OHG.  zerjan;  cp.  Diez, 
Etymol.  Worterb.  II,  p.  436. 

The  same  causative  meaning  is  in  some  derivatives 
from  the  Perfect  Tense  of  verbs,  belonging  to  the  fifth  class. 

to  bite  (AS.  Utari)]  to  bait  (AS.  batjan,  bcetari)  to  set 
the  dogs  at  somebody,  to  provoke. 

AS.  blican  to  shine,  "blcecan  to  make  shining,  to  bleach. 

AS.  ntian  to  sail,  to  go;  Icedan  to  lead. 

to  rise  (AS.  a-nsari),  rear  (AS.  a-rceran)  to  bring  up  to 
maturity.  A  less  tropical  meaning  is  exhibited  by  another 
form  in  which  Umlaut  has  not  taken  place,  viz.  to  raise 
(AS.  a-rdsjan)  to  cause  to  rise,  to  uplift. 

f  lihan  to  lend ;   Icenan  to  loan  (about  the  change  of  ce 


into  oa  sec  Matzner  Gr.  p.  121)  to  cause  a  person  to  lend, 
to  borrow. 

f  strican  to  go ;  streccan  to  stretch. 

To  these  verbs  may  be  added  one  belonging1  to  the 
fifth  class:  bugan  to  bow,  to  bend;  bygan  (from  the  Perfect 
Tense  bedti)  to  cause  to  bend,  to  buy,  from  an  ancient 
symbol;  see  Grimm,  Rechtsaltertttmer  608. 

Many  of  the  verbs,  however,  derived  from  verbs  belonging 
to  Cl.  I  and  VI,  and  exhibiting  the  vowel  of  the  Perfect 
Tense,  particularly  those  in  which  Umlaut  has  not  been 
employed,  have  not  a  factitive  meaning,  but  are  used  to 
render  the  idea  expressed  by  the  strong  verb,  more  intense, 
or  to  impart  to  it  a  particular  shade. 

I.  to  climb  (AS.  climban);  to  clamber  has  the  same 
meaning  as  to  climb,  with  the  only  difference  that  by  the 
ending  er,  expressing  repetition,  the  single  movements  by 
which  we  advance  in  climbing,  are  rendered  more  conspicuous. 

to  wind  (AS.  windan)]  to  wander  (AS.  wandrian  or 
wandlian).  Both  in  to  wander  and  to  clamber  the  suffix 
seems  to  have  prevented  Umlaut  from  taking  place. 

to  wring  (AS.  wring  an)  \  to  wrench  (wrencan);  it  has 
the  same  meaning  as  to  wring,  the  action  expressed  by  it 
is  only  more  keen  and  intense. 

VI.  f  gman\  to  yawn  (AS.  gdniati). 

to  gripe  (AS.  gnpati)  to  'seize  and  hold  fast  with  the 
hand;  to  grope  (AS.  grdpjan)  to  endeavour  to  find  something 
by  touching  and  feeling,  a  particular  kind  of  griping. 

f  sniftan  to  slit,  still  existing  as  an  adjective  snith  = 
piercing,  cutting ;  to  snathe  to  top  trees. 

to  strike  (AS.  strican)  to  touch  with  a  blow,  to  hit  with 
some  force ;  to  stroke  (AS.  slrdcjan)  gently  to  move  the  hand 
along  the  surface  of  something.  —  In  the  same  way  have  been 
formed,  although  an  AS.  root-verb  does  not  exist,  to  pike  and 
to  poke. 

t  grinan;  to  groan  (AS.  grdnjan). 


Mian  (see  Grimm  N.  492)  partiri;  to  deal,  to  dole  (AS. 
dee  Ian,  cp.  to  loan  p.  37)  to  divide,  to  distribute. 

In  two  words,  belonging  to  01.  VI,  the  weak  form  with 
the  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  has  succeeded  in  superseding 
the  strong  one,  viz.  reofan  to  reave  (redfjari),  preotan  to 
threat  (predtjari). 

Having  thus  enumerated  the  verbs  showing  the  vowel 
of  the  Perfect  Tense  of  verbs,  belonging  to  01. 1,  II,  III,  V, 
and  VI,  we  have  still  the  fourth  class  left,  which  has  o  in 
its  Perfect  Tense.  In  the  weak  verbs,  derived  from  it,  we 
consequently  expect  e  (ee).  But  it  is  only  in  one  case  that 
here  we  have  both  the  strong  and  the  weak  form,  and  in 
that  case  the  strong  verb  only  exists  in  AS.:  f  sacan  to 
fight;  secan  to  seek.  And  yet,  not  a  small  number  of  verbs 
having  been  formed  quite  in  the  same  way,  we  are 
allowed  to  suppose  that  at  an  earlier  stage  of  the  English 
language  many  more  strong  verbs,  showing  in  their  Present 
Tense  a,  in  their  Perfect  Tense  d,  were  existing.  The  latter 
vowel  is  still  discernible  in  substantives  and  adjectives  (cp. 
also  sake),  to  which  the  weak  verbs  apparently  belong. 
Thus  are  to  be  explained: 

doom  (AS.  ddm),  to  deem  (demon).  —  boot  (AS.  bof),  to 
beet  (AS.  betari),  to  add  fuel  to  the  fire,  formerly  to  improve. 

—  food  (AS.  fdda),   to  feed  (AS.  fedan).  —  cool  (AS.  col), 
to  keel  (AS.  celan).  --  blood  (AS.  bldd),  to  bleed  (AS.  bledan). 

—  whore  (AS.  hdre;   as  to  the   addition   of  rv,  cp.  Matzner, 
Grammatik  pp.  186  —  7),  to  hire  (hyran).  —  hood  (AS.  hdd)f 
to  heed  (AS.  hedan).  —  brood  (AS.  brod),  to  breed  (AS.  bredan). 

-  moot  (AS.  mdtjan),  to  meet  (AS.  metan).  —  AS.  som,  to 
seem  (AS.  semian).  —  OS.  rvopan,  to  weep  (AS.  wepan).  — 
OS.  spod  (G.  sput£n\  to  speed  (AS.  spedan). 


The  English  language  thus  employing  the  vowel  of  the 
Perfect  Tense  in  the  formation  of  verbs,  we  may,  even  a 
priori,  suppose  to  find  verbs  which  exhibit  the  vowel  of  the 

Past  Participle.  As  1  have  already  mentioned  that  only  in 
01.  I,  II,  and  VI  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P.  essentially  differs 
from  that  of  the  Present  Tense,  such  verbs  can  only  be 
formed  in  those  three  classes;  but  the  question  even  takes 
a  simpler  form,  because  in  fact  we  only  find  such  derivatives 
in  Cl.  I  and  VI.  —  As  to  the  meaning  of  these  verbs,  they 
exhibit  the  same  idea  as  is  conveyed  by  the  rootverb,  not 
in  its  generality,  but  somewhat  modified  and  mostly  applied 
to  one  distinct  object.  In  several  cases  the  original  strong 
verb  has  been  lost,  and  the  derived  weak  verb  has,  also 
with  regard  to  its  signification,  taken  its  place.  The  number 
of  the  verbs  belonging  to  these  groups,  was  much  greater 
in  AS.,  and  in  modern  English  we  do  not  often  find  both 
the  root-verb  and  that  which  shows  the-  vowel  of  its  P.  P. 

/.  to  stint  (AS.  stintan)  to  confine  within  certain  limits, 
to  stunt  (AS.  styntan)  to  hinder  something  from  taking  its 
ordinary  size. 

Goth,  hinpan  to  take;  from  the  Perfect  Tense  with  Um- 
laut has  been  formed  to  hent(d)  (AS.  hentari),  to  seize, 
to  pursue;  from  the  P.  P.  to  hunt  (AS.  huntian)  to  endeavour 
to  seize  something,  particularly,  to  pursue  game  with  hounds. 

Goth,  gairdan;  AS.  gyrdan  to  gird. 

f  AS.  grinnan;  AS.  grunian  to  grunt',  the  latter  seems 
however  to  have  been  influenced  by  F.  grondir  (*L. 

VI.  •)*  AS.  dreopan ;  AS.  dropjan  to  drop ;  AS.  dry  pan 
to  drip. 

f  AS.  deopan;  AS.  dyppan  to  dip. 

AS.  fleotan  to  fleet;  flotjan  to  float. 

AS.  steoran  styran  to  stear;  AS.  slyrian  to  stir. 

AS.  spreotan  to  sprout;  AS.  spryttan  to  sprit. 

A  particular  development  is  to  be  stated  in  four  verbs 
which  have  oo:  steopan —  stupian  to  stoop,  dreopan —  dru- 
pian  to  droop,  u  in  both  of  them  being  the  vowel  exhibitid 
by  the  Plural  of  the  Preterit  Tense.  To  them  have  been 
joined  two  verbs  which,  according  to  rule,  could  not  give 


rise  to  sucb  forms,   viz.  to  swoon   from  swinan  swan  swinen, 
to  swoop  from  swipan  swap  swlpen. 

It  may  be  that  the  signification  has  been  of  some  in- 
fluence on  these  forms :  all  four  of  them  expressing  a  move- 
ment down  to  the  ground,  the  dark  vowel  in  its  prolonged 
form  was  perhaps  preferred ;  on  the  other  hand,  •/,  preceded 
by  rv,  was  in  AS.  often  changed  into  u:  wudu  (widu\  wu- 
duwe  (widuwe),  swura  (swira);  (see  Koch,  Grammatik  §  34). 

Verbs,  besides,  may  in  English  easily  be  derived  from 
substantives  and  adjectives,  so  that  it  is  often  difficult  to 
say  which  of  them  is  the  original  word,  either  the  substan- 
tive and  the  adjective,  or  the  verb.  It  is  not  surprising 
that  also  here  in  some  cases  Umlaut  is  found:  knot,  s., 
a)  knottjan  to  knot;  b)  cnyttan  to  knit.  —  knoll,  s.,  an  elevation 
of  earth,  a  small  hill;  to  knoll  to  ring  the  bell  at  a  funeral. 
The  AS,  verb  cne(y)llan  has  disappeared,  leaving,  however, 
the  substantive  knell  (AS.  cne(y)ll),  the  stroke  of  the  funeral 
bell.  (These  words  give  another  instance  of  the  transition 
from  the  idea  of  movement  to  that  of  shape).  --  A  similar 
proceeding  seems  to  have  taken  place  in  loft.  s.  and  to  lift. 

Of  adjectives  which  have  given  rise  to  verbs,  I  mention: 
broad  (AS.  brad)]  to  bread  (AS.  brcedan)  to  expand,  to  extend. 
—  full]  to  fill  (fyllan).  —  foul  (AS.  ful)  to  defile  (AS.  d-fylan) 
to  render  foul. 

The  second  division  of  words  derived  from  strong  verbs 
by  means  of  Ablaut,  is  composed  by  substantives.  Here, 
too,  we  have  to  distinguish  two  categories  of  words:  those 
which  show  the  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense,  and  those  in 
which  the  vowel  of  the  Past  Participle  is  to  be  met  with. 

The  form  of  the  substantives  from  the  Perfect  Tense 
is  generally  that  of  the  Perfect  itself  without  any  suffix 
added,  and  it  is  only  in  a  few  cases  that  either  a  vowel 
or  a  consonant  has  been  joined  to  it.  The  AS.  suffix  a 
has  been  reduced  to  a  silent  e  in  hare  (AS.  hara  from  hisan 


Grimm  No.  558)?  snake  (AS.  snaca  from  snlcan).  It  has  modified 
the  final  consonant  in  wretch  (AS,  rvrceca  from  wrecan).  — 
In  the  same  way,  the  AS.  suffix  u  has  been  softened  down 
to  e  in  namu  (AS.  namu  from  nimari),  share  (scearu  from 
sceran),  scale  (AS.  scealu  from  scelan  Gr.  No.  563).  w  has 
been  amalgamated  with  #,  and  has  produced  w  in  law  (AS. 
/«0w  from  licgan).  —  The  suffix  e  has  disappeared  in  load 
(-star)  (AS.  lafte  iter  from  tffcm).  -  -  The  suffix  fft  has  been 
preserved  in  health  (AS.  haslft  from  helan).  It  has  taken 
the  form  of  £  in  height  (AS.  hedhfto  from  heohan  Gr.  539). 
/  already  existed  in  AS.  in  ms/Y.  (AS.  crcefl  from  m'&<m 
Gr.  541),  draught  (AS.  dro^/  from  dragari).  —  en  is  to  be 
found  in  token  (AS.  tdcen  from  tihan).  —  £/  with  Umlaut 
occurs  in  steeple  (AS.  stepel  from  stapan). 

The  influence  exercised  by  the  vowel  of  the  Perfect 
Tense  on  the  signification  of  words  belonging  to  this  group 
is  not  the  same  in  all  of  them.  March  (Gr.  §  230)  says: 
'the  vowels  of  the  past  denote  result',  but  he  is  obliged  to 
add:  *in  many  derivatives  this  force  is  lost'.1)  The  following 
remarks  will  prove,  in  how  many  instances  the  principle 
given  by  March  does  not  apply,  and  will  at  the  same  time 
show  how  manifold  the  functions  are  which  Ablaut  has  to 
perform  in  these  words. 

1.  If  the  verb  has  a  transitive  meaning,  the  correspond- 
ing substantive  often  expresses*  a  concrete  object  which  is 
the  result  of  the  action  of  the  verb.  This  seems  to  be  the 
proper  domain  of  the  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  as  the 
action  must  precede  the  object  which  is  produced  by  it. 
By  far  the  greater  number  of  substantives  exhibiting  the 
vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  have  adopted  this  signification. 

1.  malt  (AS.  mealt  from  meltan),  song  (AS.  sang  from 
singan),  thong  (from  pingan),  warp  (AS.  wearp  from  weor- 
pan)j  II.  barn  ^AS.  beam  from  berari),  name  (AS.  namu 
from  niman),  breach  (AS.  brcec  from  brecan)  III.  fret  in 
fretwork  &c.  (AS.  frost  from  fretan},  wreck  (AS.  wrccc  from 

')  Sec  Grimm,  Grainmatik  II,  88. 


wrccan),  law  (AS.  lagu  from  lecgan),  IV.  groove  (AS.  grof 
from  grafaii),  draught  (AS.  rfro^l  from  dragan),  stool  (AS. 
s?o/  from  state  Grimm  464) ,  doom  (AS.  dom  from  daman 
Gr.  466),  V.  &a#  (AS.  bat  from  Zrctaw),  sloat(s)  (from  slitan), 
loan  (AS.  /«w  from  fihau),  token  (AS.  £«c£?i  from  tihan),  deal 
(dcel  from  dilan),  rope  (AS.  r^jy  from  ripari),  VI.  £/;0t;e  (AS. 
sceaf  from  sceofan),  throe  (predf  from  preowan)  &c. 

2.  The  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  often  serves  to  form 
a  concrete  substantive  of  which  the  verb  may  be  predicated. 
As  the  same  verb  may  be  connected  with  many  substantives, 
it  is   obvious   that   mere   chance   has   often  determined  the 
particular  meaning  of  the  substantive;    so  hall,  being'origin- 
ally  that  which  sounds ,  might  quite  as  well  have  adopted 
the  signification  of  trumpet  (cp.  clarion)  or  of  anything  apt 
to  produce  a  loud  sound.     Such  concrete  substantives  have 
been  formed  from  intransitive  verbs  as  well  as  from  transi- 
tive verbs;   in  the  latter  case  they  often  signify  the  object 
or  instrument   which   serves  to   produce   the   action   of  the 
verb.     To   this  class  belong:  I.  hall  (AS.  heal  from  hellan), 
bellow(s)  (AS.  bcelg  from  belgan),  stamp  (from  sitinpari),  wand 
(from  rvindari),   hand  (from  Goth,  hinpan),  crank  (from  crin- 
can),  slang  (from  slingan);  II.  drvale  (from  dwelaii),  tare  (from 
teran),  scale  (AS.  scealu  from  scelan  Gr.  563);   IV.  foot  (AS. 
fot  from  fatari),  hook  (from  hacati)]  V.  dough  (AS.  dag  from 
digan  Gr.   514),  goad  gad   (AS.  gad   from   gidan  Gr.    506), 
loam  (AS.  lam  from  Gr.  494);   VI.  leak  (from  lucan). 

3.  The  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  expresses  the  action 
of  a  verb   rather  in   an   abstract   manner :    the   word   has, 
as  it  were,    the   signification   of  the   infinitive   used    as  a 
substantive:    I.   damp   (AS.   dimpan    Gr.  368),    throng  (AS. 
prang  from  pringan)',   III.  craft  (AS.  crceft  Gr.  541),   smack 
(AS.  smcec  Gr.  553);  IV.  wood  (AS.  wod  from  waclan\  V.  shrove 
(from  serif  an),  stroke  (from  stricari),  VI.  height  (AS.  hedhfto 
Gr.  539),  need  (AS.  nedd  mod  Gr.  534). 

4.  In   some   cases  the   substantive,    derived   from   the 
Perfect  Tense  of  the  Vth  Class  signifies  the  place  where  the 
action  of  the  verb  is  particularly  apt  to  pass:   glade  (from 
glidari),   road  (from  ridan),  strode  (from  stridari),  load  (from 
lidan),  abode  (from  abidan). 


5.  An  animated  object  is  rarely  expressed  by  the  Per- 
fect form:  wretch  (AS.  rvrceca  from  wrecan),  swain  (AS.  swan 
from  swinari),  neat  (neat  from  neotari),  hare  (AS.  hara  from 
hisan  Gr.  550),  snake  (AS.  snaca  from  smcan). 

The  substantives  derived  from  the  Past  Participle  of 
strong-  verbs  are  in  their  form  similar  to  those  of  the 
preceding  group.  Here,  as  well  as  there,  we  have  a  number 
of  substantives  exhibiting  the  mere  stem,  the  ending  en  of 
the  P.  P.  having  been  dropped.  In  other  cases  suffixes 
have  been  added,  so  t  in  dolt  (from  dwelart),  er  in  blunder 
(from  blindan),  ster  in  bolster  (from  bellan),  ling  in  foundling 
(from  findan\  ard  in  drunkard  (from  drincan\  uca  in  bullock 
(AS.  bulluca  from  bellari),  el  (with  Umlaut)  in  bundel  (AS. 
byndel  from  bindan).  a  has  disappeared  in  float  (AS.  flota), 
drop  (AS.  dropa),  sprot  (AS.  sprota). 

As  to  the  signification  of  these  substantives,  it  is,  as 
may  be  anticipated,  impossible  to  give  a  rule  which  applies 
to  all  of  them.  In  the  greater  number  of  words,  however, 
the  substantive  with  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P.  has  the  meaning 
of  the  P.  P.  and  is,  as  it  were,  a  compensation  for  the  lost 
faculty  of  the  English  language  to  use  the  P.  P.  as  a  sub- 
stantive: I.  bulk  (from  belgan),  gulp  (from  gelpan),  clump 
(from  climpan),  rump  (from  rimpari),  bundle  (AS.  byndel  from 
bindan),  ground  (AS.  grund  from  grindan)^  word  (AS.  word 
from  weorpari)-,  II.  hole  (AS.  hoi  from  helari),  mull  (AS.  mol 
from  melari),  shore  (AS.  score  from  sceran);  VI.  drop  (AS. 
dropa  from  dreopan),  lot  (AS.  hlot  from  hleotan\  shot  (from 
sceolan),  loss  (from  leosan),  lock  (from  lucan),  bow  (AS.  boga 
from  bugan). 

The  substantive  derived  from  the  Past  Participle  may 
also  denote  an  object  of  which  the  verb  may  be  predicated: 
borough  or  burrow  (from  bergan),  float  (AS.  flota  from 

In  two  cases  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P.  signifies  the  object 
by  means  of  which  the  action  of  the  verb  is  produced: 


slot  a,  doorbolt  (OHG  sliogan),   lid  (AS.  hlid  from    hlidan  to 

Now  and  then  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P.  is  found  in  sub- 
stantives expressing1  animated  objects:  bullock  (AS.  bulluca 
from  bellan),  hound  (AS.  hund  from  hinpan),  doll  (from 

Having  thus  given  the  general  remarks  suggested  by 
the  form  and  the  meaning  of  the  substantives  which  have 
been  derived  from  strong  verbs,  I  shall  proceed  to  enumerate 
them  as  completely  as  possible  according  to  the  six  classes 
to  which  they  belong. 

I.    Pr.  i  (e,  eo)      Perfect  ea  (a)      P.  P.  u  (o). 

Bellan  to  bell,  still  used  =  to  cry  like  a  hart  or  boar. 
S.  bell,  the  instrument  which  gives  forth  loud,  ringing 
sounds.  —  bullock  (AS.  bulluca)  a  young  bull;  bull  itself 
seems  not  to  have  existed  in  AS. 

Meltan  to  melt]  s.  milt,  a  concoquendo,  solvendo  succuni 
(Grimm);  malt  (KS.mealf)  barley  moistened  and  dried. 

Belgan  to  swell;  bellows  (AS.  bcelg)  the  instrument  which 
sucks  air,  which  swells.  —  bulk  that  which  is  swollen,  the 
magnitude  of  a  substance.  —  boll  a  capsule.  -  -  bolster  a 
long,  thick  cushion.  —  Umlaut  has  taken  place  in  AS. 
bylig  =  bu(i)lge;  the  same  word  in  the  form  of  belg  has 
produced  belly.  —  bowl,  although  belonging  to  the  same 
root,  has  been  taken  from  Fr.  boule. 

Gilpan  to  gulp,  to  swallow;  gulp  a  draught. 

Gildan  to  pay;  the  vowel  I  of  the  Present  Tense  has 
been  changed  into  e  in  geld  fine,  and  in  gelt  tinsel;  to  the 
same  verb  belong  guild  and  guilt;  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P. 
is  to  be  found  in  gold. 

Swimman  to  swim;  swamp  marsh,  bog.  It  seems  to  be 
the  same  word  as  AS.  swam  fungus  G-.  Schwamm,  although 
in  similar  cases  the  addition  of  an  inorganic  b  was  preferred. 

Rimpan  to  rimple  (see  p.  21);  rump  the  part  of  the  body 
which  easily  gets  rumples  or  rimples. 

Bindan   to    bind;    band    a  ligament   with   which   things 


may  be  bound  together;  bond,  the  same  form  as  band,  used 
generally  when  speaking  of  moral  and  legal  obligations, 
(as  to  the  change  of  a  and  o  before  n  +  cons.,  see  Koch  §  23, 
Matzner  I,  p.  120).  U,  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P.  occurs  with 
Umlaut  in  bundle  (AS.  byndel)  several  things  bound  together. 

Findan  to  find;  foundling  a  child  that  has  been  found. 

Grindan  to  grind;  ground  (AS.  grund)  what  is  ground, 
the  surface  of  the  earth,  soil. 

Rindan  to  push;  rand  margo. 

Windan  to  wind;  wand  a  rod;  as  to  wound  (AS.  wund) 
and  wonder  (AS.  wundor),  see  Gr.  No.  383). 

Crincan  to  yield,  cp.  crinkle  p.  25;  crank  a  bend  or 

Drincan  to  drink;  drunkard  an  habitual  drinker. 

Geongan  to  go;  gang  a  number  of  persons  going  together. 

Sing  an  to  sing;  song  (AS.  sang)  that  which  is  sung. 

Sting  an  to  sting;  stang  a  pole. 

Swingan  to  swing;  swang  a  bog;  Miiller  thinks  it  to  be 
=  swamp;  but  beside  the  form  not  agreeing  with  this 
etymology,  swamp  from  swimman,  and  quagmire  from  quake, 
both  expressive  of  the  same  idea,  seem  to  speak  in  favour 
of  the  derivation  from  swingan. 

Pringan  to  press;  throng  (AS.  prang)  a  crowd. 

Pwingan  to  constrain;  thong  (AS.  pwang)  that  which 
constrains,  fastens. 

Wring  an  to  wring;  wrong  (used  as  a  subst.,  adj.,  and 

beorgan  to  guard;  borough  (AS.  burg)  originally  a 
fortified  town  which  protects.  The  same  word  in  a  some- 
what different  form  is  to  be  found  in  the  names  of  places: 
Canterbury,  Newbury,  Kingsbury. 

weorpan  to  throw;  warp  (AS.  wearp)  texture,  a  technical 
term  in  weaving. 

weorpan  to  become;  word  (AS.  word)  an  idea,  as  it 
were,  realized;  wort  (AS.  wyri)  a  herb. 

To  this  category  we  add  with  Grimm  the  following- 
verbs  which  either  exist  in  other  Teutonic  dialects  or  which 
are  suggested  by  extant  derivatives: 


OHG.  hellan  to  sound;  hall  (AS.  heal)  a  large,  resounding 
room  or  passage. 

climpan;  clamp  a  beam;  clump  a  joist, 

blindan;  blunder  a  gross  mistake. 

dimpan  (Gr.  368);  ito</>  moisture;  dump(s)  sadness;  for 
the  transition  in  the  meaning,  cp.  fumes,  vapours,  also  Fr. 

crimpan  (Gr.  370);  cramp  a  restraint  or  contraction. 

slingan  (Gr.  421);  ste^  <a  long  narrow  Strip  of  land'. 
cp.  MUller,  Et.  Worterbuch  II,  344. 

hindan  (Goth,  hinpan  Gr.  395):  hand  =  'manus  qua 
capimus';  hound  (AS.  hund)  'canis  qui  capit'. 

lingan  (Gr.  423);  lungs. 

stimpan  (Gr.  586);  stamp  a  forcible  impression  with 
something,  the  instrument  which  serves  to  give  such  an 
impression;  stump  that  part  of  a  thick  object,  which  remains 
after  the  top  has  been  cut  off. 

brinnan  (Gr.  371);  brand  a  burning  piece  of  wood;  brunt 
_  the  sudden  collision  of  two  things,  fiery  shock. 

keornan  (Gr.  613);  kern;  corn. 

II.    Pres.  i.        Perf.  <fc,  a.        P.  P.  u.  o, 

drvelan  to  render  torpid;  drvale  a  poisonous  plant  which 
causes  sleepiness  and  torpidity,  nightshade;  dolt  a  heavy 
stupid  fellow. 

helan  to  hide,  to  cover;  health  (AS.  hcelft)  the  state  of 
being  entirely  covered  i.  e.  sound,  hole  (AS.  hoi)  belongs, 
according  to  Muller,  to  the  same  verb. 

niman  to  take;  name  (AS.  namu)  that  which  an  object, 
emphatically  speaking,  takes  or  adopts. 

beran  to  bear.  From  the  Present  Tense  have  been 
derived:  barley  (AS.  bere);  barn  (AS.  bern),  birth  (AS. 
byrd);  berth  (?);  barm  (AS.  beorma),  cp.  G.  Hefe  from 
heben.  -  -  The  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  is  in  barn  (AS. 
beam)  that  which  has  been  borne,  child.  —  bier  the  instrument 
which  serves  for  bearing,  has  been  taken  from  Fr.  biere, 
which,  in  its  turn,  is  of  Germanic  origin,  AS.  beer  =  bier. 


sceran  to  shear.  From  the  Present  Tense:  shire  (AS. 
scire);  sheriff  (AS.  scirgerefd),  shirt;  originally,  any  short 
garment,  a  petticoat,  an  apron.  From  the  Perfect  Tense: 
share  (AS.  scearu)  a  certain  portion;  shore  the  margin  of 
the  land  next  to  a  sea  or  lake  by  which  the  sea  or  lake 
is  as  it  were  separated  from  the  land. 

teran  to  tear;  tare  that  which  tears,  a  weed. 

brecan  to  break.  From  the  Present  Tense:  breach  AS. 
brice  (Fr.  breche).  From  the  Perfect  Tense:  brake  'a  place 
overgrown  with  ferns  and  shrubs'  (see  M tiller  Et.  Wb.,  s.  v.) 

According  to  Grimm   we  have  to  add: 

melan  (Gr.  560);  meal  (AS.  melu);  mull  (AS.  mol). 

scelan  separare  (Gr.  563);  skill,  with  the  vowel  of  the 
Present  Tense,  properly,  the  faculty  of  separating  and 
distinguishing;  scale(s)  (AS,  scalu)  balance  by  which  things 
are  separated ;  scale  (of  a  fish)  (AS.  scealu) ;  scall  scab,  scurf. 

III.  Pres.  e.  Perf.  ce.  P.  P.  ai,  I 
we  fan  to  weave;  web  that  which  is  woven,  has  been 
derived  from  the  P.  P.  —  woof  does  not  occur  in  AS.;  o,  it  is 
true,  very  early  intrudes  into  the  P.  P.  of  the  verbs  belong- 
ing to  this  class,  but  as  AS.  o  is  but  rarely  changed  into 
oo  (cok  =  cook,  sona  =  soon,  see  Matzner  p.  122),  woof 
remains  an  anomalous  formation. 

gifan  to  give;  gabel  (AS.  gafol)  duty  on  salt,  originally 
that  which  is  given ;  this  meaning  has  been  preserved  in  gift. 

fretan  to  eat  away ;  fret  (AS.  frcef)  relieve,  originally  that 
which  is  corroded. 

tredan  to  tread;  trade  has  been  formed  from  a  later 
P.  P.,  cp.  woof;  in  trode,  however,  AS.  o  has  regularly 
developed  itself  into  oo. 

wrecan  to  wreak ;  wretch  (AS.  wrceca); 

licgan  to  lie;  law  (AS.  lagu),  cp.  the  same  development 
of  meaning  in  G.  setzen,  Gesetz. 

sittan  to  sit;  seat  (AS.  scef)  the  thing  on  which  we  seat. 

biddan  to  bid;  bead  (AS.  bed),  originally  prayer. 


sticcan  to  £/;<;£  (Matziier;  p.  389);  stake;  stock;  steak  seems 
to  have  been  derived  from  a  Skandinavian  source,  see  Miiller. 

Besides,  Grimm  supposes  the  following  verbs,  belonging 
to  the  same  class,  to  have  been  lost:  crifan  (540),  stifan 
(540  b),  stedan  (545),  hisan  (550),  smican  (553),  from  which 
he  derives  the  substantives:  craft,  staff,  stead,  hare  and  hair, 

IV.   Pres.  a.    Perf.  6.    P.  P.  a. 

stapan  to  step;  the  vowel  of  the  Present  Tense  has 
been  preserved  in  staple;  the  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense 
with  Umlaut  in  AS.  stepel  steeple.  In  stop  the  influence  of 
0.  Fr.  estoper  from  AS.  stuppa  tow,  oakum,  is  not  to  be 

grafan  to  dig,  to  grave;  grave  (AS.  grcef)\  the  same 
word  hnd,  already  in  AS.,  the  signification  of  lucus,  grove] 
as  to  the  change  of  ce  into  o,  cp.  steel  —  stole,  brcek  —  broke, 
see  Matzner  p.  120;  the  original  signification  is:  alley  in  a 
wood,  thence  a  small  forest  giving  shade  like  the  trees 
shading  a  walk.  —  The  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense  is  in 
AS.  grbf  groove  channel  or  ditch. 

bacan  to  bake;  beech  (AS.  boce,  bece),  because  that  tree 
was  used  for  baking,  cp.  Gr.  9)7770$  connected  with  <p«/fc«> 
to  roast;  the  form  with  o  without  Umlaut  has  been  preser- 
ved in  bdc  book. 

drag  an  to  draw;  draught  (AS.  droht). 

hebban  to  heave  \  hoof  (AS.  hdf)  that  which  is  heaved. 

To  these  we  add  with  Grimm: 

daman  (466)  —  dom  doom;  laman  (467)  —  lorn  loom;  haran 
(472  b)  —  hore  rvhore;  batan  —  bot  boot;  fatan  —  fot  foot; 
fadan  —  fod  food;  and  probably:  hacan  —  hake  (name  of  a 
fish),  hook  (AS.  hoc);  flahan  to  flay  —  floh  flatv  ,  originally 
fragment,  piece,  then  gap,  fissure. 

V.   Pres.  I.     Perf.  A.    P.  P.  i. 

ripan  to  gather;  rap  rope,  that  which  consists  of  several 
threads  twisted  together. 


lifan  to  remain;  life  (AS.  lif);  loaf  (AS.  Mdf)  that  which 
preserves  life. 

drifan  to  drive]  drove  (AS.  drdf). 

scrifan  to  shrive]  shrove  in  shrove-tide,  Shrove -Sunday, 
Shrove-Tuesday,  when  people  generally  go  to  confess. 

tntan  to  bite;  bail  (AS.  bat). 

slitan  to  slit]  sloats  the  flat  underpieces  which  keep  the 
bottom  of  a  cart  together. 

abidan  to  abide]  abode  the  place  where  we  abide. 

glidan  to  glide]  glade  an  open  passage  in  a  wood. 

ridan  to  ride]  road  (rdd),  a  way  to  ride  on. 

slidan  to  slide]  slade  a  small  protracted  valley;  in  form 
and  meaning  slade  may  well  be  compared  with  glade. 

stridan  to  stride;  strode  stud. 

hlldan  to  cover;  lid  (AS.  Mid)  that  which  covers. 

lib  an  to  move,  to  sail;  AS.  lad  way  has  become  load 
a  conduit  in  a  mine ;  the  same  word  is  found  in  load-stone, 
load -star. 

smftan  to  slit;  snathe  the  handle  of  a  scythe. 

tvri&an  to  writhe;  wrath  (AS.  wrdft). 

snican  to  sneak]  snake  (AS.  snaca). 

silicon  to  strike]  stroke]  a  parallel  form  with  stroke  is 
strake,  see  Matzner  p.  114;  streak  shows  the  vowel  of  the 
P.  P.  t,  AS.  strica. 

By  means  of  analogy  seem  to  have  been  formed  spike 
spoke,  cp.  also  pike  poke  p.  38,  all  three  of  them  ending  in  k. 

tlhan  to  draw;  token  (AS.  tdcen)  cp.  G.  ziehen  and 

llhan  to  lend;  loan '(AS.  fan). 

aswman  (Gr.  115)  originally  agi,  ferri:  swine  (AS.  swln) 
animal    quod   pastuni    agitur;    swain   (AS.   swan)   puer    qui 
pastum  agit. 
We  add  with  Grimm: 

hilan  (499),  heat  (AS.  licet). 

dllan  (492),  deal  (AS.  dcel) ,  dill  (AS.  dit) 

liman  (494),  lime  (AS.  lim),  loam  (AS.  Idm),  limb  (AS.  Urn). 

digan  (514),  dough  (AS.  ddg). 

switan  (500),  sweat  (AS.  swat). 


gldcm  (506),  goad  (AS.  gad)]  another  form  of  goad  is 
gad  (AS.  gced)  burine. 

cjliman  (495),  gleam  (AS.  glcem)]  gloom  (A8.  glom),  an 
anomalous  formation;  the  dark  vowel  perhaps  stands  in 
relation  with  the  meaning,  cp.  stoop  &c.  p.  40. 

isan  (512),  ice  (AS.  is),   iron  (AS.  iren) ,  ore  (AS,  wr). 

VI.  Pres.  eo  (A).    Perf.  ed.    PL  w.  P.  P.  o. 

dreopan  to  drop]  drop  (AS.  dropa). 

slupan  to  dissolve,  to  slit  away;  slope  an  inclined  direction. 

cleofan  to  cleave ;  C/M/M  c/<w,  ;a  part  separated,  appro- 
priately the  parts  into  which  garlic  separates  when  the  outer 
skin  is  removed'.  Clove  =  spice  from  Fr.  clou,  from  L.  clavus. 

s  ceo  fan  to  shove ;  sheaf  (AS.  scedf) ;  shovel  (AS.  sco/J). 

leofan  to  love]  love  (AS.  /w/>/). 

preorvan  to  throe]  throe  (AS.  f>redn>). 

fleotan  to  flow ;  /feetf  (AS.  /?^o#) ;  AS.  //oto  ship  is  extant 
in  flotson  stranded  goods.  To  the  same  root  belongs  flood 
(AS.  flod). 

geotan  to  pour;  guts  (AS.  guttas)  the  intestinal  canals 
of  an  animal,  into  which  things  are  poured. 

hleotan  to  cast  lots;  lot  (AS.  hloi). 

neotan  frui;  neat  (AS.  neat)  animal  quo  fruimur.  Gr. 

sceotan  to  shoot]  shot. 

a-preotan  to  loathe,  to  irk ;  ihreal  (AS.  predt)  a  menace 
which  irks  somebody. 

beodan  to  bid]  AS.  bad  mandatum  and  boda  nuntius 
have  disappeared;  the  latter  signification  has  been  preserved 
in  beadle  (AS.  bydet)]  as  to  the  not  very  frequent  change 
of  AS.  y  into  ea,  see  Matzner  p.  110. 

creodan  to  crowd]  crowd  (AS.  croda)\  by  metathesis 
of  r,  the  same  word  has  given  curds,  for  which,  according 
to  Wedgwood,  also  cruds  occurs. 

freosan  to  freeze]  frost. 

icos:m  to  loose ;  loss. 

lucan  to  lock;  leek  (AS.  leak),  kab  aperieiido  folia'  Grimm; 
lock  (AS.  loc)  anything  that  fastens. 



bugan  to  bow]  botv  and  bough  have  been  derived  from 
AS.  bog. 

smugan  to  creep,  to  supple  round  somebody;  smock  a 
habit  which  sits  tight  and  loose;  the  same  word  with  Umlaut 
and  diminutive  suffix  is  smicket. 

teohan  to  tug\  tug  (AS.  tyge). 

breotan  to  break;  bread  (AS.  bread)  that  which  is  broken 
(Grimm),  or  from  breodan  to  brew,  bake.  According  to 
Grimm  we, have  to  add: 

sleolan  (226);  slot. 

geoman  (516);  bride^roo/M  (AS.  gurna). 

freonan  (520);  thunder  (f>wwr). 

heopan  (524);  heap  (heap);  hop  (heope). 

steopan  (526);  stop. 

streopan  (527);  strypan  to  stripe,  strap  and  strop  (AS. 

greolan  (531);  grit  (AS.  greol);  grout  (AS.  grui)\  groats 
has  taken  the  same  development  as  slope  &c. 

sneotan  (532);  snot. 

meodan  (538);  meed  (AS.  m£d). 

leolian  (538),  lie  (AS.  ledh). 

heohan  (539);  height  (AS.  hedh&o). 

The  number  of  Adjectives  derived  from  strong  verbs  by 
means  of  Ablaut  is  much  smaller  than  that  of  verbs  and 
substantives.  Exhibiting,  as  for  the  greater  part  they  do, 
the  vowel  of  the  Perfect  Tense,  the  express  like  a  number 
of  substantives  with  the  same  vowel,  the  result  of  an  action. 
Some  adjectives  show  the  vowel  of  the  P.  P.;  particularly 
those  which  have  m,  /,  or  r  after  the  root  vowel.  —  I  may 
add  that  some  of  the  substantives  mentioned  in  the  last 
pages  are  also  used  as  adjectives,  according  to  the  well- 
known  principle  of  the  English  language  to  employ  the  same 
word  without  any  alteration  for  quite  different  parts  of 
speech;  f.  i.  damp  (s.,  a.,  adj.);  wrong  (s.,  adj.,  and  v.). 

I.    grimman  to  rage;  grim  wild,  angry;  grum  surly. 

crincan  to  yield;  AS.  crane  weak,  near  to  death,  is  in 


Modern  English  a  ferm  of  marine  =  in  danger  to  tilt  over; 
in  other  significations,  there  seems  to  have  taken  place  a 
confusion  with  rank,  cp.  Mtiller  s.  crank. 

drincan;  drunk. 

crimpan;  crump. 

rvinnan  to  take  pains,  to  fight;  wan  having  fought,  being 
tired,  looking  tired  and  worn  out,  i.  e.  pale. 

simian  (Gr.  385);  slant  sloping. 

blincan  (Gr.  406);  blank  shining.  The  word  being  however 
but  rarely  used  in  AS.,  it  seems  to  have  been  taken  from 
the  French. 

lingan  (Gr.  423);  long  (AS.  la(o)ng)',  perhaps  like  blank 
due  to  French  influence. 

stringan  (Gr.  425);  strong  (AS.  stra(o)ng). 

dimban  (Gr.  591);  dim  dark;  in  a  tropical  sense,  dumb 

II.   dwelan;  dull  (AS.  dot). 

helan  to  hide,  cover;  hollow  derived  from  hole. 

sceran  to  shear;  short,  originally  having  lost  something 
from  its  original  length. 

III. '  witan  (Gr.  543);  wet  (AS.  rvcef). 

IV.  wadan  to  rush;  wood  rushing  as  people  do  when 
in  a  rage. 

granan  (Gr.  468);  with  Umlaut,  green  (AS.  gren). 

V.  scinan  to  shine;  sheen  (AS.  scene)  =  brilliant;  the 
obsolete  shone,   bearing  the  same  signification,   is  based  on 
the  0.  E.  Perfect  form  shon. 

btican  to  shine ;  black  and  bleak  (AS.  bide  and  blac). 
mean  to  yield;  weak  (AS.  wedk\  for   the  change  from 
ea  into  ea  cp.  Matzner  p.  110. 

bridan  pandere  (Gr.  162);  broad  (AS.  brdd). 
hitan  (Gr.  499);  hot  (AS  hdt). 

VI.  deofan  to  dive;  deaf  (AS.  deaf), 
reodan  to  redden;  red  (AS.  read). 

heohan  attollere  (Gr.  509);  high  (AS.  heati). 
steopan  fundere  (Gr.  526);  steep  (AS.  stedp). 


In  the  foregoing  pages  I  have  tried  to  enumerate  the 
words  which  have  been  derived  from  strong  verbs  by 
means  of  Ablaut.  As  since  the  time  of  the  Norman  con- 
quest the  English  language  in  the  declension  as  well  as  in 
the  formation  of  words  has  preferred  the  synthetical  method 
to  the  analytical  one,  it  is  not  surprising  that  in  AS.  the 
number  of  words  formed  in  that  way  was  much  greater 
than  in  the  modern  speech.  But  though  only  existing  in  a 
reduced  number,  these  words  are  of  the  highest  value,  as 
they  prove  that  also  in  the  formation  of  words  the  English 
language  has  preserved  one  of  the  essential  characteristics 
of  all  Teutonic  dialects. 

Verlag  von  MAX  NIEMEYER  in  Halle  a/S, 

Unter  der  presse  beiindet  sich  und  erscheint  um  ostern: 

Altenglisches  lesebuch. 

Zum  gebrauche  bei  vorlesungen  und  zum  selbstuntemclit 



Prof.  Dr.  Richard  Paul  Wiiieker. 

2.  teil, 

die  zeit  von   1350—1500  umfassend. 

Tuhalt:  1.  *Die  7  busspsalmen.  —  2.  Oratio  magistrr  Richardi.  - 
3.  *Lied  an  die  jungfrau.  —  4.  *Marienlied.   -  -   5.  *Lied  aitf  Adam.  - 
(>.  *Gebet  fur  den  konig.  —  7.  Gott  sende  uns  geduld.  —  8.  Nichtigkeit 
tier  welt.  —  9.  Falschheit  der  welt.  --   10.  *Leben  der  Elisabeth.  —  11. 
1  Vision  des  Tundalus.  —  12.  "Owayne.  —  13.  Patience.  —  14.  Gesiehte 
Williams  iiber  Peter  den  pfliiger.  —   15.  *Gowers  Confessio  amantis.  - 
It).  *Hoccleves  De  regimine  principum  —  17.  La  male  regie  de  Hoceleve. 
18.  *Gereimte  Ubersetzung  des  Boetius.  --   19.  Barbours  Bruce.  - 
20.  *Wintowns  chronik.  —  21.  *Hardings  chronik.  --   22.  William  von 
Palerne.  --  23.  Zerstorung  von   Troia.  --  24.   Chaucers  Canterburyge- 
schichteu.  --  25.  Chaucers  Troylus  und  Cryseyde.  —  26.  ;  Lidgates  ge- 
schiehte  von  Theben.  --  27.   Arthurs  tod.  --  28.  Lancelot  vora  see.  - 
29.  Chaucers  spriiche.  —  30.  Rondels.  —  31.  Virelai.  —  32.  Goldnes  zeit- 
alter.  —  33.  -Ratselgedicht.  —  34.  *Gedichte  Karls  von  Orleans.  —  35. 
Parlament    der  liebe.   --   30.  Die  mitleidlose  schone.   --   37.   'Coventry 
mysterien.   -  -    38.  *  Chester-spiele.  --  39.  Bibeliibersetzung  des  Niclas 
von  Hereford  nebst  der  von  Purvey.  --   40.  Wycliifes  iibersetzung.  - 
41.  Chaucers  Canterbury-geschichten.  —  42,  *Geschichte  der  3  ktfnige. 
-  43.  Chaucers  Boetius.   --  44.  -Zwiegesprk'ch.  --  45.  *Buch  des  La 
Tour  Landry.  --  46.  *Maundevilles  reisen.  —  47.  *Trevisas  iibersetzung. 
-  48.  Uebersetzung  des  Polychronicon.  —  49.  Capgraves  chronik.  —  50. 
Geschichte  Merlins.  —  Anmerkungen.  —  Glossar. 

Gegeniiber  dem  ersten  teile  zeichnet  sich  der  zweite  teil  dadurcli 
aus,  dass,  sobald  die  darin  benutzten  texte  nicht  fur  die  Early  English 
Text  Society  oder  von  ganz  zuverlassigen  herausgebern  ediert  wurden, 
dieselben  nach  den  handschriften  abgedruckt  sind  (diese  texte  sind  mit 
*  versehen).  Es  findet  sich  auch  mehreres  ungedruckte  darin.  In  den 
umtanglichen  anmerkungen  werden  die  schwierigen  stellen  der  texte  er- 
klitrt,  im  glossar  die  dariu  enthaltenen  worter  mit  moglichstei  vollsiiin- 
digkeit  gegeben.  Erne  tabelle  der  Altenglischen  literaturgeschichte  (1250 
bis  1500),  wie  eine  iibersicht  der  Altenglischen  formenlehre  wahrend  des 
13. — 16.  jhds.  soil  das  ganze  werk  beschliessen. 

Warnke,  Karl 

words   thS  form&tlon  of  English